Djokovic beats Sousa in straight sets at Paris Masters
NOVAK Djokovic began his bid for a record-extending fifth Paris Masters title with a 7-5, 6-1 win against Joao Sousa in the second round on Tuesday, and lent a helping hand to a spectator in the process.
Serving for the match at 5-1, Djokovic handed a towel to a man in the crowd who seemed unwell and who wiped his forehead with it.
“It seemed he was sweating and he seemed dizzy, so he just needed help,” Djokovic said. “I just gave him the towel.”
Djokovic revealed he also was not feeling very well out on court.
“I wasn’t,” he said. “I don’t want to get into details but I think it’s a minor thing.”
The second-ranked Serb set up match point with an ace and sealed victory on his third match point when Sousa returned a second serve long.
The U.S. Open champion won four of the last five tournaments he has entered, including Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and most recently the Shanghai Masters.
Djokovic is seeking to reclaim the top ranking from Rafael Nadal at a tournament Nadal has never won. Djokovic next faces Damir Dzumhur.
Fifth-seeded Marin Cilic, the Australian Open runner-up, won his second-round match 6-3, 6-4 against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.
Dzumhur upset 14th-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-3, while big-hitting Russian Karen Khachanov also advanced to the third round. He led 6-2, 2-0 against Matthew Ebden when the Australian retired.
Returning from a right knee injury , Nadal faces Spanish countryman Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday, with 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer also in second-round action against Milos Raonic. Federer leads the big-serving Canadian 11-3 overall.
Federer’s last appearance at the Paris indoor event was a third-round loss to big-serving John Isner in 2015. There were doubts Federer would play after a grueling past week which saw him clinch his ninth victory at the Swiss Indoors and 99th overall.
“I feel good,” Federer told a news conference. “I feel like I recovered well from last week.”The 37-year-old Federer is selective of when he plays in order to keep his body as fresh as possible, and he skipped the entire clay-court season for the second straight year. With the season-ending ATP Finals in London starting November 11, he is playing three straight tournaments. –
In this Sunday, October14, 2018 file photo, Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Borna Coric of Croatia in men’s singles final match.