New world number one Novak Djokovic sets personal record at Paris Masters

New world number one Novak Djokovic sets personal record at Paris Masters

Novak Djokovic celebrated his return to the summit of world tennis with a stroll into the quarter-finals at the Paris Masters as he outclassed Damir Dzumhur on Thursday.

Later Thursday, Federer faces volatile Italian Fabio Fognini for a place in the last eight.

Novak Djokovic will replace him at the top of the ATP tree when the new lists are published on 5 November. "Of course, I'm very, very happy and proud about it".

"I'll probably be able to speak more profoundly about it when the season is done and hopefully if I get to finish as number one".

The fifth seed bounced back from a bruising defeat to Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday, but overcame Mertens 6-2, 7-6 in a tense round-robin tie in Zhuhai, southern China.

The four-time Paris champion faces Marin Cilic in the last eight on Friday.

However, he has a 2-6 record against Federer with his most recent win over the 20-time major champion coming in 2014.

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He even had a drive off into the grass when he missed the corner out of the long straight at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Everyone's going to be barrelling into Turn One to gain, so it's a very, very fine line".

Djokovic, who knew on Wednesday he would be world No.1 next week after Rafael Nadal's withdrawal from the tournament through injury, was leading 6-1 2-1 when Bosnian Dzhumur retired at 6-1 2-1 after succumbing to a back problem. Dimitrov is instead trying to end his bad 2018 season on a good note, and he started working with Andre Agassi.

It marked the culmination of a dizzying ascent by the Serb, who had slumped to No 22 in the rankings in mid-June, but subsequently won Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open as well as Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai.

Despite the blow the tournament organisers will be relieved to see Roger Federer making his first appearance at the competition since 2015. Rafa is in the race.

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. "So as I said, I can't be too ecstatic about it".

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.

If both players lose in the same round, Nadal will retain the world number one ranking heading into the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month.

"I am very close to London, to securing my spot mathematically", Cilic said. [It will be] great to play him again'.