Djokovic wins Paris opener as Federer confirms return
PARIS – Agence France-Presse
Novak Djokovic stepped up his pursuit of the world number one ranking with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Joao Sousa at the Paris Masters on Oct. 30, while Roger Federer confirmed he will play at the event for the first time since 2015.
Djokovic can regain top spot from Rafael Nadal this week if he betters the Spaniard’s performance in the French capital, where the Serb is a four-time winner of the indoor tournament.
Djokovic had never dropped a set in five previous meetings with Portugal’s Sousa, but he surrendered a 4-1 lead in the opener and appeared under the weather before regrouping to break Sousa at 6-5.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion then reeled off five games in a row to end Sousa’s resistance and book a meeting with Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia in the last 16.
Dzumhur defeated rising Greek star and 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-3.
Federer will play Canada’s Milos Raonic after receiving a bye in the first round.
Federer’s only tournament victory in Bercy came in 2011. On his last appearance in 2015 he was knocked out by American John Isner in the round of 16.
The Swiss star missed the event the past two years due to a combination of injury and selective scheduling. He has also sat out the last three French Opens.