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Federer, Djokovic to clash for 47th time with Paris final at stake

photo by AP photo

Roger Federer of Switzerland, returns the ball to Kei Nishikori of Japan, during their quarterfinal match of the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy Arena in Paris, France on Friday. Roger Federer won 6-4, 6-4.

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04th-Nov-2018       
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AFP, Paris :
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will meet for the 47th time Saturday with a place in the Paris Masters final at stake.
Federer, chasing a 100th career title, moved a step closer to that goal with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Japan's Kei Nishikori in Friday's quarter-finals in the French capital.
Djokovic, who will take over as world number one from Rafael Nadal on Monday, reached the semi-finals after recovering from a break down in the final set to defeat Marin Cilic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and rack up his 21st consecutive win.
Djokovic leads Federer 24-22 and has not lost to the Swiss since 2015.
However, the Serb star admits that his challenge on Saturday may be compromised by a heavy cold.
"I'm still struggling. It's kind of a flu. It's not easy to perform every single day, the energy levels are not as high," said the second seed.
Four-time Paris champion Djokovic, who went into Friday's quarter-final with a 15-2 record over Cilic, had three break points in the opening set but the Croatian held firm.
Cilic wrapped up the opener in the 10th game, ending Wimbledon and US Open champion Djokovic's 30-set win streak in the process.
However, the 14-time major winner roared back, breaking twice in the second set to level the contest.
Cilic, who defeated 31-year-old Djokovic in the final at Queen's Club in the summer, was a break ahead again for a 2-1 lead in the decider.
But Djokovic fought back, retrieving the break in the next game and breaking again in the eighth to lay the foundation for victory.
The only consolation for Cilic was booking a place in the ATP Finals in London later this month courtesy of Nishikori's loss.
"It was a big challenge. I was a break down in the third set. This match could have gone either way," said Djokovic.
"I won the match, but if he would've won it, it would've been absolutely deserved."
Djokovic now has a 30-1 record since the start of Wimbledon with his only loss in that time coming against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round of the Toronto Masters in August.
Should he win the title on Sunday, Djokovic will equal Nadal's record of 33 Masters triumphs.

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