Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Paris Masters: Djokovic enters quarterfinals

Djokovic back on top of world rankings 2018 ATP Finals: Rafael Nadal an injury doubt for London
Cary Erickson | 02 November, 2018, 19:53

Second seed Novak Djokovic reached the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters after Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur retired with a back injury. He won only six matches in his first six events of 2018, a drought that related to an elbow operation shortly after the Australian Open.

"I'll probably be able to speak more profoundly about it when the season is done and hopefully if I get to finish as No. 1".

Austrian Dominic Thiem had to come from behind to beat Borna Coric 6-7 (3) 6-2 7-5 and his reward is a last-eight meeting with America's Jack Sock, a 6-0 6-4 victor over Malek Jaziri.

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

Federer will meet Japan's Kei Nishikori in the last eight after his 6-4 6-4 victory over Kevin Anderson. "I tried. It's good to play in a relaxed manner for once, to find something in my game that could help me out for London", he said.

Earlier, the Spaniard had to withdraw from the semi-final of the 2018 US Open due to a knee injury.

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.

Tiafoe saved one match point in the second set but after a double-fault released a second opportunity to wrap up the contest for Zverev, who entered the third round with a Tiafoe error after 1 hour and 44 minutes.

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Cilic moved closer to securing one of the remaining places for the ATP Finals in London. [It will be] great to play him again'.

Roger Federer reckoned that he felt the love of the French public sweep over him when made a long-awaited return to competitive action in Paris on Thursday to launch his bid for a 100th career title.

Cilic, who will guarantee making the cut for London if he downs Djokovic, was ending reigning ATP Finals champion Dimitrov's season.

Yet his opponent, Milos Raonic, pulled out because of injury, leaving Federer to think that it had actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

So far this week, there have been five retirements and two walkovers as the toil of the long season begins to bite. "It's just a very powerful style of tennis", Djokovic said.

Alexander Zverev eased into the quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-2 win over Diego Schwartzman, and will now play Russia's Karen Khachanov, who needed three sets to see off John Isner 6-4 6-7 (9) 7-6 (8).

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