With Eye On No. 1, Novak Djokovic Opens Play Tuesday In Paris
After a poor 6-6 start to 2018, Novak Djokovic is incredibly just a week from reclaiming the No. 1 ranking.
Djokovic is just 35 behind Rafael Nadal for the top spot. So the player that goes the furthest will hold the top spot next Monday. And that’s quite an achievement for Djokovic who was ranked down at No. 22 on June 18.
“We are very, very pleased with what was achieved in the last four, five months,” said Djokovic. “With Rafa’s injury and him not playing China and so forth, it put me in a position to be very close to him in the and to fight for a year-end No. 1. I’m aware of it, and I’m going to give my very best to try to achieve it.”
Djokovic, who has won his last 18 matches, begins his Paris campaign tomorrow against qualifier Joao Sousa. If he wins he could face the last man to beat him, Stefanos Tsitsipas. And down the road it could be Roger Federer in the semifinals.
“In both the US Open and Shanghai, I’ve played as good as ever. So I really enjoy tennis at the moment and enjoy competing, because obviously when you’re winning that many matches you have a lot of confidence. When you have a lot of confidence, you approach the practice sessions and the tournaments and the matches in a just completely different way,” Djokovic added.
Also tomorrow, Jeremy Chardy battles Fernando Verdasco with the winner to face Nadal. And Milos Raonic takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to a spot against Federer at stake.
Earlier today, American Frances Taifoe upended local favorite Nicolas Mahut. Richard Gasquet ousted Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov knocked out 2017 Paris finalist Filip Krajinovic.
Feliciano Lopez also won saving two match points in a win over Alex De Minaur.
TUESDAY PARIS SCHEDULE
Court Central 11:00 Am
1st Rd Fernando Verdasco v Jeremy Chardy
1st Rd (WC) PierreHugues Herbert v (SE) Mikhail Kukushkin
1st Rd Gilles Simon v Lucas Pouille
1st Rd Milos Raonic v (WC) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Not Before 7:30 Pm
2nd Rd (Q) Joao Sousa v 2 Novak Djokovic
Not Before 8:30 Pm
2nd Rd 5 Marin Cilic v Philipp Kohlschreiber
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