Djokovic ousted Federer to stop him in his tracks of a 100th career title as he outlasted his great adversary 7-6(6) 5-7 7-6(3) in an epic Paris Masters semi-final that stretched his remarkable unbeaten run to 22 matches.
The win was marred by a negative moment for Djokovic as his actions led to the crowd turning against him.
In a 47th meeting between the two greats, the stubborn Djokovic simply refused to be beaten as he eked out a fourth successive victory over Federer in a tiebreak decider after three compelling hours.
It was a moment in the third set where the crowd turned on the Serb, at 4-4, Djokovic carved out two break points only for him to miss both of them. He just couldn't keep his emotions in check as he slamed his racket into the court.
The move went down badly with the French crowd who proceeded to boo Djokovic for his antics. While it wasn't smashed completely, Djokovic had to promptly change his racket before Federer held serve to go within a game of the match.
He duly regained his cool to take a 7-6 5-7 7-6 win just 24 hours after complaining of flu-like symptoms in his previous matches.
"We've had epic matches throughout our rivalry but this one definitely ranks as one of the best matches we played. High quality tennis," Djokovic said.