Tennis

Djokovic back on top

Numero uno: Novak Djokovic is assured of the top ranking.

Numero uno: Novak Djokovic is assured of the top ranking.  

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Nadal pulls out with abdominal issues

Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Paris Masters on Wednesday guaranteeing Novak Djokovic’s return to World No.1 spot. Announcing his withdrawal Nadal said: “My abdominal muscles haven’t felt good for the past few days, especially on service, doctors recommended that I didn’t play.”

Meanwhile, Djokovic, who arrived here knowing that he would regain the top spot he relinquished two years ago if he bettered the Spaniard’s performance at the indoor event he has won four times, began with a 7-5, 6-1 win against Joao Sousa in the second round, and lent a helping hand to a spectator in the process.

Serving for the match at 5-1, Djokovic handed a towel to a man in the crowd who seemed unwell and who wiped his forehead with it. “It seemed he was sweating and he seemed dizzy, so he just needed help,” Djokovic said. “I just gave him the towel.” Djokovic revealed he also was not feeling very well out on court. “I wasn’t,” he said. “I don’t want to get into details but I think it’s a minor thing.”

The second-ranked Serb set up match point with an ace and sealed victory on his third match point when Sousa returned a second serve long.

The U.S. Open champion won four of the last five tournaments he has entered, including Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and most recently the Shanghai Masters.

Djokovic is seeking to reclaim the top ranking from Rafael Nadal at a tournament Nadal has never won. Djokovic next faces Damir Dzumhur.

Marin Cilic won 6-3, 6-4 against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.

The results: Second round: Novak Djokovic bt Joao Sousa 7-5, 6-1; Marin Cilic bt Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4; Karen Khachanov bt Matthew Ebden 6-2, 2-0 retired; Damir Dzumhur bt Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-3.

First round: Fernando Verdasco bt Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4; Daniil Medvedev bt Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 6-2; Gilles Simon bt Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-4; Mikhail Kukushkin bt Pierre-Hugues Herbert 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; Marton Fucsovics bt Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-4; Milos Raonic bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 7-6(5).

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:01:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/djokovic-back-on-top/article25382852.ece

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