Djokovic back on top after Nadal withdraws in Paris

Novak Djokovic vs Sampras Roger Federer's former coach draws comparison

Novak Djokovic stepped up his pursuit of the world number one ranking with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Joao Sousa at the Paris Masters on Tuesday, while Roger Federer confirmed he will play at the event for the first time since 2015.

Roger trained in Paris on Tuesday and he was scheduled to play against Milos Raonic in the second round today after the Canadian defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three tie breaks last night.

The Spaniard pulled out of what was to be his first appearance since the US Open with a stomach injury, giving Fernando Verdasco a bye into the third round.

World number 3 Roger Federer has won his 99th ATP title in Basel on Sunday and he still made a decision to travel to Paris and enter the main draw of the last Masters 1000 event of the season for the first time since 2015.

Tournament organisers in Paris announced on Wednesday that Nadal had pulled out due to an abdominal strain. It would not be fair and not good for me and for nobody to go inside the court knowing that probably the full tournament will not be possible to play'.

"In the middle of second set, I overextended my elbow and it did some kind of pain", he said.

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"It was great to be here in Paris for a couple of days and practise with the guys", Nadal told a news conference. "I would love to be in London of course. Something that I was not able to do this year, playing only nine events and retiring in two". I checked with the doctor and he said that he recommended to not play, because if I continued the abdominal may break and could become a major thing.

With Nadal's physical problems putting a big question mark over his participation at the ATP Tour Finals in London and Djokovic defending no ranking points there, it looks certain he will end a topsy-turvy year as world number one.

'As you know, when you come back after injuries, and you push a little bit the body at the beginning, some issues can happen'.

No. 8 John Isner, No. 9 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 10 Kei Nishikori also won.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev booked his place in the next round with a 6-4 6-4 win over Frances Tiafoe.

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