Djokovic came out on top of one of the best non-Slam matches of the year and extends his win streak to 22.
In one of the best non-Grand Slam matches of the year, Novak Djokovic extended his win streak to 22 by edging Roger Federer 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-6 (3) to advance to the finals of the Paris Masters.
Djokovic will play Karen Khachanov in Sunday's final after the 22-year-old Russian beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1 in the first semi of the day.
Despite not being broken in the match, Federer's quest to become just the second man with 100 ATP titles will have to wait, as he sits on 99 with just the year-end ATP Finals left this season.
The 47th matchup between Djokovic and Federer, who have a combined 34 major titles, did not disappoint. Both players struck the ball cleanly from the onset and battled through a tight first set, the highlight of which came when Federer produced a stroke of genius at the net while down break point.
Twelve straight holds would send the first set into a tiebreak, which Djokovic won after Federer squandered a set point.
Federer battled admirably to stay on serve in the second set, as Djokovic had chances to break in multiple different games, and Djokovic appeared in control of the match. But the Swiss would score the only break of the match thanks to a loose service game from Djokovic at 5-6, sending the match to a decisive third and delighting the crowd at the AccorHotels Arena.
Federer saved two break points in the first game of the third set, and both players held relatively comfortably to send things into a decisive breaker. Federer made a few unforced errors to give Djokovic a double mini-break, and Djokovic capitalized on the first match point on his serve after a long rally.
After the victory, Djokovic pointed to his ear as a cheeky gesture to the outwardly pro-Federer crowd.
Djokovic is seeking a record-extending fifth Paris Masters title, while Khachanov will be making his first appearance in a Masters 1000 final.