ATP Paris: Novak Djokovic edges Grigor Dimitrov to challenge Rafael Nadal

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ATP Paris: Novak Djokovic edges Grigor Dimitrov to challenge Rafael Nadal

World no. 1 and the four-time Paris champion Novak Djokovic will have the opportunity to play for the fifth crown in the French capital on Sunday, defeating Grigor Dimitrov 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 38 minutes. Thus, Novak is through to the 50th Masters 1000 final, becoming the third player to achieve that feat after Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and closing the gap to the Spaniard in the ATP Race ahead of Rafa's match against Denis Shapovalov in the other semi-final.

It was the tenth meeting between Novak and Grigor and the ninth victory for the Serb, taking four points more than the US Open semi-finalist and prevailing in the pivotal moments to seal the deal in straight sets and advance into the final.

Dimitrov gave his best to stay in touch with the better-ranked opponent, hitting more winners than Novak and having a small advantage in the shortest rallies up to four strokes. On the other hand, Djokovic claimed more mid-range exchanges, never facing a break point and converting one opportunity on the return in set number two to wrap up a critical triumph and stay in the year-end no.

1 race with Nadal. Delivering fury from the initial shot, both players sailed through their service games to set up a tie break that saw some of the best points in recent months, with Grigor moving 5-3 in front before Novak rattled off four straight points for one of the most significant sets of the season.

The Serb claimed two rallies with more than 30 strokes, gathering a massive momentum after almost an hour. Novak barely lost a point on serve in set number two and Grigor couldn't follow that pace, suffering a break in game five and allowing Djokovic to cross the finish line with a hold at love in game ten that propelled him into the title clash.