Read & Watch: Khachanov Moves Past Zverev Into Paris Semi-finals
Russian will next play defending champion Sock or Thiem
Karen Khachanov extended the best season of his career on Friday when he booked a spot in his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final at the Rolex Paris Masters.
The Russian, who advanced to the last four at the Rogers Cup in Toronto (l. to Nadal) in August, defeated fourth seed Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-2 in 71 minutes to set a first-time meeting with sixth-seeded Austrian and Nitto ATP Finals contender Dominic Thiem.
“I'm just enjoying playing good tennis right now,” said Khachanov. “Especially the past couple of month. After winning Moscow, honestly, in Vienna it was tough for me to play emotionally. I'm playing confidently and playing good tennis right now.”
Khachanov gained control after three consecutive service breaks at the start of the pair’s third FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. At 1-4 down, Zverev received on-court treatment for a right shoulder complaint. Khachanov wrapped up the 34-minute opener when Zverev struck a forehand long of the baseline — his 13th unforced error — in the seventh game.
Zverev held serve for the first time in the second game of the second set and continued to fight, but once the German missed a forehand volley at 2-3, Ad-out, Khachanov swept through to his 44th match win of the season (44-22 overall).
The 22-year-old Khachanov has won two ATP World Tour 250-level titles this year at the Open 13 Provence (d. Pouille) in February and at last month’s VTB Kremlin Cup (d. Mannarino). He is now 5-16 lifetime against opponent in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings.
Zverev, who has recorded the most wins on the ATP World Tour (54) this year — one shy of his career-high of 55 in 2017 — will now prepare to play at the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November, for the second consecutive year.