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. Novak Djokovic's fourth straight win over Roger Federer and 25th in 47 contests sent him into the Paris Masters final against unseeded Russian Karen Khachanov, who has never played in a Masters final. However, the Swiss maestro's comments after the match have sparked retirement rumours.
According to express.co.uk when asked whether he will return to the French capital again soon, he replied: "No idea if it was the last match. It was a good one actually. I am sorry I lost. Because it's never fun and nice to lose. I don't know.
"As I said for the French Open, I will decide at the end of the year to see how it will have an impact on my physical training. Bercy (Paris Masters) as for next year, it's like every year, it's always difficult. I can't foresee too much in advance but I don't think it will be my last match here," said a dejected Federer.
Federer remains one short of 100 career titles. However, at 37 years old, age finally seems to be catching up with the legend.
"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."
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."
(With PTI inputs)