Djokovic beats Sousa in straight sets at Paris Mas­ters

The Myanmar Times - - Sport - Photo: AP

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.

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