Playing his first match as a father, Novak Djokovic had no trouble dispatching Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round of the Paris Indoors Masters. The defending champion Djokovic is seeking a third Paris title this week, and was pleased with his start.
“It feels great! It’s different, obviously,” Djokovic told Sky Sports. “I’m trying to take as much positive energy as I can from what’s happened in the past few weeks. I’m very proud to be a father and I’m very proud of my wife for handling the birth in a great way. She’s back home recovering now, with our little boy. This was my first match as a father and it can only inspire me to play my best tennis.”
Djokovic is not only trying to defend his title, but also fend off Roger Federer in the No. 1 race.
“It’s not the first time that I’ve been in this particular situation,” said Djokovic. “I’ve been fighting for No. 1 the past couple of years with Nadal and Federer. I know what I need to do and I’ll try to keep things simple. Just focus my attention on my own matches. I can’t affect Federer’s matches, but I can win as much as I can/ If I keep on winning and performing well, like I did today, then I think I have a good chance. But Roger, on the other hand, is playing some fantastic tennis. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Federer will play Wednesday against Jeremy Chardy. The Swiss could possibly overtake Djokovic for the No. 1 ranking if he makes the finals this week.
Other second round winners Tuesday were Tomas Berdych, Kevin Anderson and Fernando Verdasco who beat French favorite Gilles Simon in three sets.
Gael Monfils, David Goffin and Tommy Robredo were among the first round victors.
On tap Wednesday, in addition to Federer, the hot-handed Andy Murray takes on Julien Benneteau, Stan Wawrinka duels Dominic Thiem, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga meets Jurgen Melzer.
“It’s been a long few weeks, but it’s been very beneficial for me,” said Murray who has won three of his last five events. “We gained a lot of confidence in my body again from playing this many matches and from winning a lot of tough, long, close matches – especially in the finals, match points down. I have been fighting extremely hard in the matches and got some good results, so it’s been nice.”
Three players in the hunt for the last spot in London – Milos Raonic, David Ferrer and Grigor Dimitrov – are all on court tomorrow. Should Raonic or Dimitrov lose Wednesday they would be eliminated from the London race. Raonic has to stay a round ahead of Ferrer while Dimitrov must reach the semifinals.
WEDNESDAY PARIS INDOORS SCHEDULE
COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
D Thiem (AUT) vs  S Wawrinka (SUI)
R Gasquet (FRA) vs  R Bautista Agut (ESP)
J Benneteau (FRA) vs  A Murray (GBR)
J Chardy (FRA) vs  R Federer (SUI)
Not Before 7:30 pm
 J Tsonga (FRA) vs [PR] J Melzer (AUT)
Not Before 8:30 pm
G Monfils (FRA) vs  J Isner (USA)
COURT 1 start 10:30 am
 M Raonic (CAN) vs [Q] J Sock (USA)
 D Ferrer (ESP) vs D Goffin (BEL)
[Q] S Querrey (USA) vs  F Lopez (ESP)
 G Dimitrov (BUL) vs P Cuevas (URU)
 F Fognini (ITA) vs [Q] L Pouille (FRA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
T Robredo (ESP) vs  K Nishikori (JPN)
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