Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Djokovic reaches Paris Masters quarterfinals; Cilic wins

Djokovic reaches Paris Masters quarterfinals; Cilic wins

The prized end-of-year No 1 accolade is one Djokovic has earned on four separate occasions, just like Nadal, who could still be back in London in less than a fortnight to challenge him again for the top spot at the end-of-season ATP finals.

Cilic and Thiem occupy the final qualification berths at present but another slot will open up if Nadal, who was due to return from a knee injury this week, is unable to compete in London.

Rafael Nadal pulled out of his second-round match because of an abdominal problem, meaning Novak Djokovic will reclaim the No. 1 ranking next week.

He won the first set comfortably, and then Dzumhur retired while trailing 1-2 in the second set.

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"I understand you guys want to go in depth about it, but please respect that I'm in this tournament and I have to focus on every match and try to get as far as I can". After Paris the ATP tour's eight top-ranked players congregate in London from November 11 for the season's Finals.

Nadal confirmed his withdrawal from the tournament at a press conference ahead of his match against fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, the World No. 27. The 32-year-old Nadal has enjoyed a successful year, clinching his 17th Grand Slam title by winning an 11th French Open in June, after triumphs in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.

The No. 1 race this week at the Paris Masters is already over.

"They ed me too", the 20-time Grand Slam victor said in Paris, where he is playing at a Masters event. "So as I said, I can't be too ecstatic about it". Rafa obviously is struggling with injuries since the US Open.

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Federer, who won his 99th career title at the Swiss Indoors last Sunday, will face 13th-seeded Fabio Fognini.

The Croat had earlier looked in strikingly good form when beating Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (5) 6-4.

The 31-year-old has been in top form this week but faces a hard last-eight opponent in Marin Cilic tomorrow.

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).

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The Russian will next play Alexander Zverev after the German fourth seed beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4, 6-2.

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