Nadal pulls out of Paris Masters: Djokovic set to regain top ranking

Hope Soto
November 2, 2018

Spanish world number one Nadal and Serbian number two Djokovic - who are also in Paris for the Masters - said earlier in the week that they are reconsidering whether to play at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah just before Christmas.

Nadal has not competed since retiring with a knee injury against Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open semi-finals on 7 September.

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.

He is chasing a record-extending fifth Paris Masters title and advanced toward that when Damir Dzumhur retired trailing 6-1, 2-1.

"My abdominal muscles haven't felt good for the past few days, especially on serve, doctors recommended that I didn't play", he said.

Federer is seeded behind world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and world No. 2 Novak Djokovic.

The Austrian will next face a rejuvenated Jack Sock after the defending champion, who has endured a dramatic slump in the year since, outplayed Tunisian lucky loser Malek Jaziri 6-0 6-4 to win back-to-back matches for the first time in 2018.

Third-seeded Roger Federer enjoyed a walkover into last 16 as his opponent Milos Raonic from Canada withdrew from the competition due to an elbow injury.

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The 31-year-old has put himself in a position where he can leapfrog Nadal and finish the year as the top-ranked men's singles player.

Djokovic, looking in much sharper form than his opening match against Joao Sousa, took the set in 39 minutes.

They are set to battle for the world No.1 spot at the Paris Masters in France this week but the focus was on their lucrative contest on December 22.

Djokovic has not been number one since November 2016. "It was unbelievable. I never expected that something like that can happen", he said.

"I'm happy to play tomorrow". Rafa obviously is struggling with injuries since the US Open.

After beating Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (12-10) 6-4, Dimitrov said: "We've known each other for quite some time and it's the right timing, right now, to have [Agassi] on the team".

Djokovic and Cilic were joined in the quarter-finals by Karen Khachanov who saved two match points against John Isner on his way to defeating the eighth-seeded American 6-4, 6-7 (9/11), 7-6 (10/8).

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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