Djokovic wins Paris opener as Federer confirms return

Djokovic wins Paris opener as Federer confirms return

But he also admitted that the way the landmark was reached - through the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal from Paris with an abdominal issue - had dampened his excitement.

As we already said, Novak is pretty much locked to finish the season as the year-end number 1 player and to dominate the rankings in 2019 as well, winning just six matches in 2018 before Rome and returning to his old form that might be hard to follow for Nadal or Federer.

The Spaniard picked up an abdominal injury earlier in the tournament and has been unable to shake it off.

This latest injury will cost him his No. 1 ranking, which goes back to longtime rival Novak Djokovic next week. I really don't want that.

As the duo prepare to battle it out for the world No 1 spot at this week's Paris Masters, Nadal said he was "not surprised at all" that Djokovic is on the verge of returning to the top of the world rankings.

On Court One, John Isner beat Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-1).

The record 20-time Grand Slam victor Federer, who won his 99th career title at the Swiss Indoors last Sunday, will next face 13th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy.

Federer received a walkover from Raonic, who cited a right elbow injury. It has been a tough year until that moment, in terms of injuries.

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The straight sets victory was enough to take Goerges to the top of the group, and the world number 14 jumped with joy on court and punched the air in celebration.

Once he had earned an inevitable break for 2-1, consoled the Bosnian, who told him at the net that he was in no shape to continue. "Maybe I can play today".

Sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem won 6-4, 6-2 against Gilles Simon, beating the Frenchman for the eighth time in 10 meetings.

"I feel like it's better for me to play matches rather than practice, and I think that's it".

Who will nab the last two London places?

Will the help of Andre Agassi, who has joined him in Paris, revitalise his results?

Djokovic has lost only once since Wimbledon, winning the last three tournaments, and Marin Cilic is up next in Paris.

There were also wins on Wednesday for defending champion Jack Sock, Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson, Diego Schwartzman and Borna Coric.

Bulgarian ninth seed Grigor Dimitrov, who is working with United States legend Andre Agassi in Paris, went through with a 7-6 (12/10), 6-4 victory over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.

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