Djokovic defeats Federer to reach Paris Masters final
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns a shot to Switzerland's Roger Federer during their semi final match at the ninth and final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 indoor tennis tournament on November 2, 2013 at the Bercy Palais-Omnisport in Paris
The six-time Grand Slam winner, who last suffered defeat in the US Open final against Rafael Nadal, overcame an inspired Federer before finally taking victory 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in just over two hours.
He now takes on either Nadal or David Ferrer in Sunday's final at the Bercy arena, as well as keeping his chances alive of reclaiming the world number one spot.
The 26-year-old Belgrade native had to reach the final in the French capital to have a chance of snatching back top spot from Nadal at next week's World Tour Finals.
"Every time we play it's a great match, challenging and intense," said Djokovic.
"He was better than me in the first set and it wasn't easy. I just had to stay confident and focussed and wait for my chances.
"I was serving well and just kept patient and in the end it paid off," he added.
Federer took the first set in dramatic fashion when he saved four break points at 5-4 up before converting his second set point when the Serb overhit a backhand that flew out the back of the court.
The decisive moment of that opening set came as early as the third game, when Federer broke to go 2-1 up with a deft drop shot that Djokovic chased down only to stab the ball into the net.
It was only the second time in 36 service games since the tournament began that the Australian Open champion had been broken.
Federer endured some tense moments as the set followed serve but the Swiss maestro, who was meeting Djokovic for the first time since the World Tour Finals last year in London, saved all four break points against him before finally claiming the opening set 6-4 in 46 minutes.
It got worse for Djokovic as he was broken again to open the second set when Federer found the line with a passing shot but then he importantly hit back to take Federer's serve for the first time in the match to level at 1-1.
Djokovic was gaining in momentum and got the break he needed to win the second set when Federer planted a routine volley into the net to go 2-4 down.
The 2009 Paris champion then held comfortably in his next two service games to close out the set 6-3 and level the match.
An expected tight final set developed into a one-sided affair as Djokovic grew in strength and broke twice to take the match as he moved closer to a sixth title of the season.