Roger Federer confirms he will play at Paris Masters
Novak Djokovic breaks off from serving for victory to help unwell spectator during match against Joao Sousa
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 31/10/18 1:04pm
Roger Federer has confirmed his participation at this year's Paris Masters after a three-year absence.
Federer's only victory in Bercy came in 2011, but he has the chance of recording a historic 100th tournament win of his career in the French capital after winning the Swiss Indoors in Basel for a ninth time last weekend.
The world No 3 will open his campaign against Milos Raonic on Wednesday after the Canadian defeated 2008 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) in the first round.
Federer's Paris Masters draw:
|2nd Round||Raonic or Tsonga|
On his last appearance in 2015, Federer was knocked out by American John Isner in the last 16, but the 37-year-old feels that he has recovered well enough to take his place in the draw.
"I prefer playing to training as long as I don't take any risks ahead of the London (ATP) Finals, (November 11-18)," Federer said.
"I feel like I've recovered well after last week. I feel good today (Tuesday)."
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic, who is aiming to wrestle back the No 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal, opened his campaign with a 7-5 6-1 victory against world No 48 Joao Sousa.
The Serb, who arrived in Paris on an 18-match winning run after triumphs in Cincinnati, US Open and Shanghai, had led 4-1 in the opening set only to be pegged back to 5-5 by Sousa. After holding his serve he then broke the resistance of his Portuguese opponent.
It was much more straightforward for Djokovic in the second set, taking it 6-1 but only after he assisted an unwell spectator sitting in the front row, who was later helped from his seat by medical staff, as he prepared to serve out for victory.
Nadal is returning to action for the first time since hobbling out of the semi-finals in New York and must match Djokovic's result in France to remain in top spot.
French hopes of success were dented when Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Jeremy Chardy and Benoit Paire were all knocked out in the first round.
Herbert was beaten by Kazakhstan's Mikail Kukushkin in three sets 3-6 6-3 7-5 while Jeremy Chardy lost 6-4 6-4 to Spain's Fernando Verdasco.
The 56th-ranked Paire made the opening round through the qualifiers but lost 6-4 6-4 to Hungary's Marton Fucsovics.
Greek 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a surprise 6-3 6-3 defeat at the hands of Bosnian star Damir Dzumhur.
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