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Djokovic back on top after Nadal withdraws in Paris

Djokovic back on top after Nadal withdraws in Paris

Tournament organisers in Paris announced on Wednesday that Nadal had pulled out due to an abdominal strain.

Djokovic had learnt on Wednesday he would be back as world number one next week following Rafa Nadal's withdrawal from the tournament through injury.

Novak Djokovic described his return to world No 1, after a two-year absence, as a "phenomenal achievement".

Djokovic faces Damir Dzumhur in the third round, the first time they have played each other. 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.

"I understand you guys want to go in depth about it, but please respect that I'm in this tournament and I have to focus on every match and try to get as far as I can".

An abdominal problem forced Nadal to abort his planned comeback from a knee injury, meaning he will cede the world number one ranking to Novak Djokovic next week.

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Earlier this season, Roger Federer spent eight weeks as the number 1 and this is the first season with all three biggest players of the new millennium holding the ATP throne!

Since then, however, he has won Wimbledon and the US Open, taking his Grand Slam tally to 14, winning 20 consecutive tour-level matches for the sixth time, and 29 of his past 30 encounters.

Roger Federer also advanced to Thursday's third round after big-serving Milos Raonic retired before their match with a right elbow injury.

Then comes Fabio Fognini, who is enjoying the best season of his career, or Benoit Paire, who came close to beating Federer in Halle.

"I'm happy to play tomorrow".

"In both the US Open and Shanghai, I've played as good as ever", said Djokovic, who claimed his 14th major championship in NY.

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Djokovic also feels at home in Paris.

The final two places will be confirmed in Paris this week.

Alexander Zverev eased into the quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-2 win over Diego Schwartzman, and will now play Russia's Karen Khachanov, who needed three sets to see off John Isner 6-4 6-7 (9) 7-6 (8).

Isner needs to reach the semi-finals in Paris to have any hope of moving up to ninth in the rankings, which would give him a chance of making the ATP Finals in London in November.

The 31-year-old Serb can take the top spot in the rankings from Rafael Nadal if he wins a record-extending fifth title in the French capital.

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