Djokovic books place in Paris Masters quarterfinals

Lynette Rowe
November 3, 2018

Federer's procession came after Novak Djokovic celebrated his return to the summit of world tennis with an even easier stroll into the last eight after Damir Dzumhur had to retire injured in the second set of their third-round clash.

Djokovic and Nadal are facing scrutiny over a planned exhibition match in Saudi Arabia later this year, amid calls for the event to be cancelled over the Arab kingdom's alleged role in in Turkey.

In the quarterfinals, Djokovic will face fifth-seeded Marin Cilic, who saw off Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (5), 6-4.

The Paris Masters coverage gets back underway on Sky Sports Main Arena (409) at 6.30pm, just before Federer is set to take to the court.

Djokovic dictated the play from the outset and made the opening break to go 3-1 up, but the match hinged on an 11-minute sixth game.

A double break of serve put Federer 4-1 up before Fognini broke back with a backhand victor down the line.

Khachanov, who won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month, did not face a break point in the 2 1/2-hour match.

In a repeat of Sunday's Vienna Open final, the in-form Japanese Nishikori gained impressive revenge for his defeat by beating the South African 6-4 6-4. Cilic is guaranteed a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals in London if he reaches the semi-finals. In addition, when Novak takes the number 1 spot on Monday, that will be the seventh change at the top in 2018, the most since that insane 1999 season when we had eight big shifts in the standings.

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"We are all very exhausted", said world number 19 Schwartzman who has been on the road for more than two months.

The former world No. 3 also had an injury-riddled 2017 campaign, including a seven-week absence due to wrist surgery that cost him a chance to play at that season's U.S. Open. "Haven't played for a little while now, so I'm looking forward to that one", said Thiem who leads Sock 2-1. Even after extended injury breaks, the same three have returned as strong as before: In the last two years, they have won all eight Majors and 10 of the 17 Masters.

In the second set, with Fognini serving to stay in the match at 3-5, a Federer backhand service return to bring up match point left the fans gasping in astonishment.

"I would love to be in London, of course", said the Spaniard.

In the first quarterfinal of the day, young big men Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov collide.

Isner's USA compatriot Jack Sock, who's the defending Paris Masters champion, also advanced with a 6-0 6-4 triumph over Malek Jaziri.

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

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