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Djokovic plays the waiting game

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A GOOD WIN: Fernando Verdasco surprised an in-form Marin Cilic, the champion at St.Petersburg, in the first round. — PHOTO: Reuters
A GOOD WIN: Fernando Verdasco surprised an in-form Marin Cilic, the champion at St.Petersburg, in the first round. — PHOTO: Reuters

Novak Djokovic, on Monday, continued his waiting game with a recent shoulder injury which threatens to keep the World No.1 out of this week's Paris Masters.

The Serb re-injured his right shoulder in the Basel semifinal loss to Japan's Kei Nishikori during the weekend and remains unsure of his participation in the last event of the ATP regular season.

With the elite World Tour Finals starting in less than a fortnight in London, Djokovic's immediate future on court remains wide open.

Only his state of fitness is pressuring the ten-time tournament winner this season, with he top seed due to start on Wednesday in the second round after a bye at the Bercy arena against Italian Fabio Fognini or Croatian Ivan Dodig.

Roger Federer arrived in Paris after his home triumph with a fifth Basel title and was setting up s practise session with Frenchman Gael Monfils, last year's losing finalist to Robin Soderling.

While all 16 seeds enjoyed byes, work began in the trenches for the rest of the field in the first round.

The last three spots in the year-end event are to be decided this week, with Czech Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and American Mardy Fish filling the spots provisionally.

On court, the supporting cast began play, with two Spaniards advancing as Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 and Fernando Verdasco surprised St Petersburg champion Marin Cilic of Croatia 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Verdasco will be the first test for Berdych while Garcia-Lopez will play Tsonga, seeded sixth. German Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-2 and South African Kevin Anderson continued his solid autumn campaign as he put out Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

The results:

First round: Guillermo Garcia lopez bt Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 1-6, 6-4; Philipp Kohlschreiber bt Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-2; Florian Mayer bt Radek Stepanek 7-5, 6-3; Kevin Anderson bt Gilles Muller 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Fernando Verdasco bt Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; Julien Benneteau bt Milos Raonic 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-4 . — Agencies

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