Novak Djokovic opened play at the Paris Masters with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Joao Sousa of Portugal.
“In the important moments, I managed to get the right shots in play. Not 100 percent pleased with my game, I missed a lot of shots from the back of the court,” Djokovic said. “But at the end of the day, it’s the first match, so it takes a bit of time to adjust.”
The win was Djokovic’s 19th straight, and puts pressure on Rafael Nadal in the chase for No. 1. If Nadal loses his first match tomorrow against Fernando Verdasco, the Serb will go to No. 1 on Monday (the player who goes the furthest between the two will be No. 1 next week).
Fourteen seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was an upset victim to Damir Dzhumer and Marin Cilic advanced over Philipp Kohlschreiber.
In a nailbiter, former finalist Milos Raonic ended French favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s 2018 season, beating the 2008 champion 6-7(4), 7-6(50, 7-6(5).
Gilles Simon also beat countryman Lucas Pouille.
Also tomorrow, Roger Federer begins play against Raonic. Federer leads the Canadian 11-3 winning the last two. Alexander Zverev faces Frances Tiafoe and Simon moves on to take on Dominic Thiem.
WEDNESDAY PARIS SCHEDULE
Court Central 11:00 Am
Adrian Mannarino v 10 Kei Nishikori
4 Alexander Zverev v Frances Tiafoe
Richard Gasquet v 16 Jack Sock
1 Rafael Nadal v Fernando Verdasco
Not Before 7:30 Pm
Milos Raonic v 3 Roger Federer
Not Before 8:30 Pm
Gilles Simon v 6 Dominic Thiem
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