Paris, Nov, 4 (AP/UNB) — Novak Djokovic's latest victory over Roger Federer was among the toughest and best in their epic rivalry, a 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-6 (3) feast of attacking tennis which had the roaring crowd on their feet and remained in doubt until the very end.
It finally ended, after three hours, when Djokovic moved 6-1 up in the tiebreaker. Federer saved two match points but cracked in a long rally and chopped a backhand into the net.
"We had epic matches throughout our rivalry but this one definitely ranks as one of the best," Djokovic said.
Djokovic's fourth straight win over Federer and 25th in 47 contests sends him into the final against unseeded Russian Karen Khachanov, who has never played in a Masters final.
"This is my best match of the year, that's for sure," Djokovic said, addressing the crowd in French. "Big respect to Roger."
Federer remains one short of 100 career titles.
"When you lose a close match like this you always have regrets," a disappointed Federer said. "That's why I guess I have this face right now."
Djokovic is on a 22-match winning streak and will aim to move level with Rafael Nadal on a record 33 Masters titles.
"Novak is obviously on a roll," Federer said. "You can feel it."
Khachanov, who beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1, won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month for his third career title.
Djokovic, who beat him on the way to the Wimbledon title, is seeking a record-extending fifth Paris Masters title and 73rd title overall.
He was made to work far harder than when he beat Federer in the Cincinnati Masters final in August.
After they hugged at the net, Federer walked off quickly and raised a thumb to the cheering crowd.
"People enjoy the rivalry. We do as well," Federer said. "It's tough and fair, the way it's supposed to be."
Fans got everything they could have hoped for: Two players with a combined 34 Grand Slam titles, 59 Masters titles, and 533 weeks at No. 1 slugging it out at a level of unrelenting yet sublime intensity.
Brilliant one-handed winners on the run from Federer down the line and acute-angle volleys at the net; astonishing elasticity while retrieving from the baseline and laser-beam forehands to the corners from Djokovic.
Federer had 17 aces, while Djokovic got five of his eight in his last three service games of the match, raising his level at the right time.
Djokovic briefly let his volatile temper get the better of him, though, when he had Federer at 15-40 down in the ninth game of the deciding set. Federer saved both break points, and Djokovic whacked his racket into the ground, drawing the first and only boos of a titanic match.
Djokovic held his hands up as if to apologize to the unforgiving crowd, unhappy that a pique of rage interrupted their gourmet feast of tennis.
Brimming with confidence in a season which has seen him go from No. 22 in the rankings in May to No. 1 when they are released on Monday, and in which he also added the U.S. Open to his Grand Slam haul, Djokovic created pressure throughout.
But Federer saved every break point — 12 of them — and secured the only break of the match in clinching the second set.
"Hasn't happened too many times that I don't break a serve of anyone, especially if I have 12 break points," Djokovic said. "Most of the break points he just served well, and played great shots."
The best one of the match went to Federer in the eighth game. As Federer charged to the net, Djokovic hit a powerful forehand which clipped the net and flew to the left of Federer, wrong-footing him. From a seemingly impossible angle, and totally off balance, he scooped his racket behind his neck and flicked a volley over the net for a winner.
Federer thrust his arms into the air, the crowd rose to their feet in sheer disbelief.
Even by Federer's lofty standards, it was remarkable.
"That's why he is who he is," Djokovic said, admiringly.
But after losing the match, Federer was left shaking his head. He was unhappy with someone in the crowd twice shouting "out" during the long match-point rally.
"It's just unfortunate it happens and at the end you lose the point, the match," Federer said.
Still, he retained a sense of irony.
"Thank God the rally ended," he said. "It would have been five times if it continued."
Berlin, Nov 3 (AP/UNB) — Freiburg striker Lucas Hoeler struck late for a 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich on Saturday, damaging the defending champion's bid to keep the pressure on Borussia Dortmund ahead of their encounter next weekend.
Dortmund held on for a 1-0 win at Wolfsburg and will lead by four points before Bayern's visit on Saturday.
Bayern dominated possession against Freiburg but found it hard to create chances against the visitors' well-organized defense, frustrating some home fans who whistled their team at the break.
Freiburg had a goal ruled out for offside early in the second half.
Bayern claimed a penalty for an apparent hand ball by Freiburg defender Manuel Gulde but referee Felix Zwayer gave a corner instead after consulting video replays. Franck Ribery had an arguably better penalty appeal waved away.
Germany striker Serge Gnabry finally broke the deadlock with 10 minutes remaining, beating Alexander Schwolow at his near post to set off celebrations among Bayern's coaching staff.
They were cut short, however, when Christian Guenter crossed for Hoeler to score in the 89th minute.
After conceding a late equalizer against Hertha Berlin the weekend before, Dortmund successfully defended Marco Reus' first-half goal to stay unbeaten.
Dortmund had problems in defense, with Manuel Akanji (hip), Lukasz Piszczek (knee), Marcel Schmelzer (knee) and Abdou Diallo (groin) all out injured.
Lucien Favre, now the first Dortmund coach to stay unbeaten after 15 competitive games, made nine changes from the team that beat Union Berlin 3-2 in the German Cup on Wednesday, with Paco Alcacer coming in for a rare start.
The Spain striker, who had seven goals in four league appearances, failed to score for the first time in his sixth game for Dortmund.
Reus, who scored with a late penalty for the win over Union, was again the hero, heading home from close range after Thomas Delaney failed to direct his header on target.
SCHALKE FINALLY WINS
Schalke was testing its fans' patience with only one goal in four league games and nerves were strained before the game against fellow struggler Hannover.
Mark Uth, yet to score for the team since his summer transfer from Hoffenheim, thought he'd finally gotten off the mark but his well-taken first-half goal was ruled out for offside.
Uth thought he had a penalty but video replays showed there was no foul.
However, Uth was awarded a spot kick in the second half after falling under minimal contact from Hannover goalkeeper Philipp Tschauner. This time, referee Markus Schmidt didn't check the video and Nabil Bentaleb converted the penalty.
Hendrik Weydandt equalized with 20 minutes remaining but Breel Embolo replied straight away for Schalke and Uth finally scored late to seal the 3-1 win.
Also, Bayer Leverkusen's revival was cut short in a 4-1 defeat at home to Hoffenheim, and promoted Nuremberg drew 2-2 at Augsburg.
Hertha Berlin was hosting Leipzig later.
Milan, Nov 3 (AP/UNB) — Inter Milan is proving to be a serious threat to Juventus' bid for an eighth successive Serie A title.
Roberto Gagliardini scored twice and Matteo Politano, Joao Mario and Radja Nainggolan added the other goals as Inter beat Genoa 5-0 Saturday to move to within three points of Serie A leader Juventus, which hosts Cagliari later.
It was a seventh successive Serie A win for Inter with the Nerazzurri level on points with Napoli, which beat Empoli 5-1 on Friday.
The result will boost Inter's confidence ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game at home to Barcelona. The Catalan club beat Inter 2-0 two weeks ago.
Genoa, which is the only team to have taken points off Juventus this season, remained 11th but only four points off fourth spot in a tight Serie A table.
Inter captain Mauro Icardi was rested for the match, while Genoa forward Krzysztof Piatek was surprisingly also on the bench despite having scored a leading nine goals.
Inter took control of the match with two goals in as many minutes — both of them following mistakes by the Genoa defense.
Genoa failed to clear a ball in the area and Davide Biraschi inadvertently deflected Joao Mario's pass to Gagliardini, who swept in from six yards.
Moments later it was Darko Lazovic who completely miskicked his attempt at clearing Joao Mario's through-ball and Politano ran on and slotted it past Genoa goalkeeper Ionut Radu — who is on loan from Inter.
Genoa offered little, even when Piatek was brought on for former Inter forward Goran Pandev, five minutes into the second half.
By that point Inter was even further ahead. Radu had done well to claw Ivan Perisic's attempt off the line but Gagliardini fired in the rebound.
Gagliardini had several chances to complete his hat trick before Joao Mario capped off a good performance with a lovely finish into the bottom right corner in stoppage time.
There was still time for Inter to score a fifth as Joao Mario sent in a cross for Nainggolan to head in, having come off the bench minutes earlier for his first appearance since injuring his ankle in the derby against AC Milan last month.
Dhaka, Nov 3 (UNB) - Janata Bank Officer Welfare Society clinched the Walton Metropolis 1st Division Chess League title with one more round to spare securing 19 points from 10th round matches held at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room on Saturday.
In the day’s 10th round matches, Janata Bank Officer Welfare Society beat Debdas Biswas Smriti Sangsad by 4-0 game points.
Indian IM Awesh Upadhyaya, Indian IM Rakesh Kumar Jana, FM Syed Mahfuzur Rahman and M. Abzid Rahman of Janata Bank Officer Welfare Society won against Jaber Al Hamid, Nasiruddin Apu, AB Bappi and Khandakar Nazre Mowla of Debdas Biswas Smirity Sangsad respectively.
Uttara Central Chess Club is in the 2nd position with 14 points beating Leonine Chess Club by 3-1 game points.
Indian Kaustuv Kundu, CM Subrota Biswas and Indian Srijit Paul of Uttara Central Chess Club won against Gias Uddin Ahmed, Sheikh Md Khairul Islam and Sanatan Zahid of Leonine Chess Club while FM Rezaul Haque of Leonine Chess Club beat CM Chanchal Kumer Ghosh of Uttara Central Chess Club.
Agrani Bank Daba Dal is in the 3rd slot with 13 points beating Kasparov Chess Club by 4-0 game points.
M. Emdadul Haque, M Monir Hossain Khan, Indian Suvradeepta Das and Samrat Ghorai of Agrani Bank Daba Dal won against Abdul Khalek, Indian Amit Kumar Biswas, Mohammad Alamgir-jr and Nurul Islam Mahin of Kasparov Chess Club.
Mir Chess Club beat Mohakhali Pradip Sangah by 4-0 game points, Khaleghor Daba Sangha of Gopalganj beat Legend Faraz Ayaiz Chess Team by 2.5-1.5 game points.
The 11th or last round matches will be held on Sunday from 11:00 am at same venue.
The prize-distribution ceremony of the league will be held Sunday afternoon. FM Iqbal Bin Anwar (Dawn), Senior Operative Director and Head of Games of Sports of Walton Group will distribute prizes among winners. KM Shahidullah, Vice President of Bangladesh Chess Federation, will preside over the ceremony.
Dhaka, Nov 3 (UNB) – Dhaka Mohammedan SC keep the quarterfinal hope alive from Group D of the season’s curtain raiser soccer meet, Walton Federation Cup Football Tournament, beating newcomer Nofel Sporting Club by 2-0 goals in their 2nd match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here Saturday afternoon.
After a barren first half, Nigerian striker Kingsley scored both the goals for the traditional black and white team in the span of only one minute- 69th and 70th minutes--of the match, helping Mohammedan SC to taste the first victory in their 2nd match.
In the day’s other match, big-budgeted Bashundhara Kings played a 1-1 draw with formidable Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club at the same venue on Saturday evening.
Brazilian medio Marcos put Bashundhara Kings ahead in the 8th minute, but their winning joy was very short living as Gambian forward Soloman restored the parity for Sheikh Jamal DC just two minutes later (10th minute).
After the day’s match, Bashundhara Kings and Sheikh Jamal DC brightened their chance to reach the quarterfinals from Group D with unbeaten run securing four points each from two matches while Mohammedan SC also kept their hope alive with three points from two encounters.
Earlier, Bashundhara Kings beat Dhaka Mohammedan by 5-2 goals while Sheikh Jamal DC defeated all-losers Nofel SC by 2-1 goals.
In the remaining Group D matches, Bashundhara Kings will play lowly Nofel SC while Dhaka Mohammedan SC will battle with Sheikh Jamal DC, both on Tuesday to assure the quarterfinal berth.
Chattogram Abahani Limited will play Arambagh KS in Sunday’s lone match at 5 pm at the same venue.