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Djokovic into Paris quarters as Dzumhur retires

02 November, 2018, 03:02 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Djokovic 'Rafael Nadal's defensive skills are the best. While Federer...'

Djokovic's return to No 1 when the new ATP rankings are released next Monday was sealed on Wednesday when the current holder of that accolade, Rafa Nadal, had to pull out of the Paris event with an abdominal injury.

"Reflecting on what I've been through in the past year, it's quite a phenomenal achievement", said Djokovic after profiting from Damir Dzumhur's retirement in France. "And, of course, I'm very, very happy and proud about it", Djokovic told reporters.

The return of Djokovic at the first line in the ATP ranking was the natural completion of his flawless game in the second half of the season.

Djokovic had never dropped a set in five previous meetings with Portugal's Sousa, but he surrendered a 4-1 lead in the opener and appeared under the weather before regrouping to break Sousa at 6-5.

The night session will be opened by Federer against Fabio Fognini, then Kei Nishikori will face Kevin Anderson.

Elsewhere today, Switzerland's Roger Federer, the 2011 victor, made it through without hitting a ball at the AccorHotels Arena. This time it wasn't the troublesome right knee which had sidelined him since the US Open semifinals in early September, but rather an abdominal injury which just crept up on him. "So as I said, I can't be too ecstatic about it".


John Isner's hopes of also making the London finals received a blow when he was beaten 6-4, 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (8-6) in an absorbing, huge-serving battle by rising Russian Karen Khachanov.

Cilic fired 29 winners to advance to the last eight in the French capital for the third straight year.

If both players lose in the same round, Nadal will retain the world number one ranking heading into the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month.

"In the next match against Novak it will be another big challenge". There were doubts Federer would play after a grueling past week that saw him clinch his ninth victory at the Swiss Indoors and 99th overall.

First round: Fernando Verdasco bt Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4; Daniil Medvedev bt Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 6-2; Gilles Simon bt Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-4; Mikhail Kukushkin bt Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; Marton Fucsovics bt Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-4; Milos Raonic bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).

Defending champion Jack Sock did not face a break point and needed less than one hour to beat lucky loser Malek Jaziri 6-0, 6-4.

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