Djokovic revels in ‘highly improbable’ return to number one

02 November, 2018, 20:48 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • Paris Masters: Novak Djokovic to meet Marin Cilic in quarter-finals

Announcing his withdrawal at a hastily arranged press conference Nadal said: "My abdominal muscles haven't felt good for the past few days, especially on serve, doctors recommended that I didn't play".

Roger Federer, fresh from his recent title in Basel, made it through to the third round without playing after second-round opponent Milos Raonic pulled out.

Cilic and Thiem occupy the final qualification berths at present but another slot will open up if Nadal, who was due to return from a knee injury this week, is unable to compete in London.

Novak is the clear favorite to finish the season as the year-end number 1 for the fifth time in his career and the first since 2015 after a rather historic season, dropping out from the Top 20 before starting a memorable run that gave him 41 wins in the last 45 matches and 20 straight wins that distanced him from the closest rivals. "And, of course, I'm very, very happy and proud about it", the Serb told reporters.

Despite a 15-2 head-to-head record, Djokovic lost to Cilic in the same stage at the 2016 Paris Masters to cede his top position.

As the Swiss legend, Roger Federer steps on the tennis court of Paris he eased his way out through the quarterfinals of the Rolex Paris Masters.

Cilic next will take on Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who won 6-1, 2-1 over Bosnia and Herzegovina's Damir Dzumhur who retired in the 52nd minute of the match. "It's just a very powerful style of tennis", Djokovic said.

If he wins in Paris, he will equal Nadal's record of 33 Masters titles and he can also extend his record number of triumphs at the French capital's indoor event to five.


Roger Federer celebrates after winning his third round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini in Paris, France, on Nov 1, 2018.

The giant American saved four match points before the 22-year-old Khachanov, who had already staved off two himself, finally threaded a backhand victor past the net-rushing Isner to win after almost 2-1/2 hours of massive hitting.

The 16th-seeded Sock won 6-3, 6-3 win against Frenchman Richard Gasquet, while Zverev advanced 6-4, 6-4 over American Francis Tiafoe.

Federer will meet Japan's Kei Nishikori in the last eight after his 6-4 6-4 victory over Kevin Anderson.

No. 11 Borna Coric completed second-round action with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Daniil Medvedev and next faces Thiem.

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

Lucky loser Malek Jaziri replaced Nadal and beat Verdasco 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-3 and next faces defending champion Jack Sock.

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