Novak Djokovic overcame some magical moments from Corentin Moutet at the Paris Masters to win 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in his first match since learning he will be relinquishing his world number one ranking.

The Serbian will lose top spot to Rafael Nadal for the first time in 2019 when the latest rankings are released on Monday, regardless of what he does in France.

His battle to win that place back before the end of the year looked like it might take a huge hit when 20-year-old lucky loser Moutet broke and then had two set points in the opener, only for Djokovic to shut the door, break back and clinch the tie-break.

Djokovic then opened up a 4-1 lead in the second set and - although Moutet sealed his second break of the match - was able to wrap up victory in one hour and 47 minutes.

A pedestrian and error-strewn start from Djokovic was epitomised when he meekly found the net to hand Moutet a break and a 4-3 lead.

Moutet had to stave off four break points in the next game and then missed two opportunities to take the first set as Djokovic held and broke back to force a tie-break, which he duly won.

The 32-year-old had already raised his thumb in approval at a forehand winner slapped down the line during that decider, and he had a wry smile when Moutet lobbed him with an audacious tweener in the third game of the second set.

However, that was the only point he won during that service game as the Serbian reeled off four games in a row to take charge, though Moutet did win one break back.

With Djokovic then serving for the match shortly after, Moutet was angry when his opponent was allowed to challenge, successfully, after he had already netted his shot.

He was given the point and the chance to seal the match, which he did at the first time of asking with a fine forehand winner.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made home advantage count as he defeated Andrey Rublev to progress into round two at the Paris Masters.

World number 35 Tsonga, who entered the final ATP Masters 1000 event of 2019 as a wildcard, proved one of the main attractions for fans on day one of the main draw and overcame Rublev 4-6 7-5 6-4 in a gruelling contest that lasted two hours and 23 minutes.

Tsonga's reward for a first victory in a Masters event in over two years is a meeting with Matteo Berrettini, who broke into the top 10 on Monday and occupies the last of two available ATP Finals spots.

Tsonga's compatriot Benoit Paire defeated Damir Dzumhur in straight sets, while Jeremy Chardy battled past Sam Querrey.

Adrian Mannarino set up a second-round tie with Rafael Nadal, while ATP Finals hopeful Alexander Zverev will go up against Fernando Verdasco, who beat Borna Coric.

There were also wins for Cristian Garin, Milos Raonic, Radu Albot, Jan-Lennard Struff and 2018 Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic.

 

TSONGA TEES UP BERRETTINI BOUT

New world number nine Berrettini sits 130 points clear of Roberto Bautista Agut in the Race for London rankings but will have to be at his best if 2008 Paris champion Tsonga can maintain the form he displayed against Rublev.

The Russian has impressed in 2019, winning in Moscow this month after victories over Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and Roger Federer over the course of the season.

His campaign came to an end with a whimper, though, as Tsonga fought back from behind to claim a first win in a Masters-level match since May 2017.

Rublev only dropped serve three times, but the second such occasion handed Tsonga set two, with an early break in the decider giving the Frenchman the chance to serve out the triumph with a first match point.

 

NADAL NEXT UP FOR MANNARINO

With Roger Federer having withdrawn from the tournament, the path looks clearer for defending champion Novak Djokovic and soon-to-be world number one Nadal to taste success.

Nadal will be taking nothing for granted against Mannarino, though, with the wildcard having made light work of NextGen ATP Finals qualifier Casper Ruud.

Two breaks in each set put Mannarino in command and he duly marched through 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes. 

 

FRANCE'S FAN FAVOURITES PROGRESS

It was a perfect day for the French players on Monday, with all those in action making it through. Joining Tsonga and Mannarino in the second round was Chardy, who edged out fellow qualifier Querrey 5-7 6-3 7-5.

In-form Daniil Medvedev awaits Chardy, with the US Open finalist and Shanghai Masters champion aiming to sharpen up ahead of the ATP Finals.

Paire, meanwhile, will go head-to-head with French number one Gael Monfils after a 7-5 6-4 triumph over Dzumhur.

Novak Djokovic is hopeful former world number one Andy Murray can return to being a contender for the top prizes in 2020.

Murray looked set to retire after his elimination from the Australian Open but has instead staged an incredible comeback from hip surgery over the course of the season.

His remarkable return reached new heights with the defeat of Stan Wawrinka in the European Open final this month, earning him a first ATP Tour trophy in over two years.

Djokovic enjoyed an impressive record against Murray, who has won only 11 of their 36 meetings.

The current world number one, who will lose his status to Rafael Nadal at the start of November regardless of their respective displays at the Paris Masters, is now looking forward to Murray continuing his resurgence next year.

"I sincerely hope so," Djokovic told a news conference at the ATP Masters event, when asked if world number 128 Murray could rediscover the form that took him to three grand slam titles.

"I hope that he can be in contention for the top spot because tennis would profit from that and benefit. Because we know how big of a legacy he left behind and he is still creating for himself.

"Knowing what he has been through in the last three years, it was really nice to see him win a title after a long time. Only he knows the adversities that he had to face physically but also mentally.

"I know the discipline and the ethics that he has and how hardworking he is, so he definitely deserves it. And I would definitely wish him all the best."

While Nadal will replace Djokovic as number one in the rankings on November 4, the Serbian can still end the year in top spot, though it will likely require him to win all his matches in Paris and at the ATP Finals in London.

"I'm not thinking about it in that way. But I am in the race for number one with Rafa. He's in a much better position, but I hope I can do well in this tournament," Djokovic, who will face Dusan Lajovic or Corentin Moutet in his first match in Paris.

"I've historically played really well indoors in Paris and also London, but it doesn't depend on me.

"So I cannot really focus too much on what he is doing or other players. I'll try to kind of get the most out of my performances and see where it takes me.

"In order to have a chance for year-end number one, I have to win all of my matches until the end of the season. But also it depends on [Nadal], how he does."

Roger Federer has withdrawn from this week's Paris Masters, the ATP 1000 event has confirmed.

Federer claimed an emphatic 6-2 6-2 win over Alex De Minaur in the final of the Swiss Indoors Basel on Sunday – a 10th triumph overall at his home event.

The 38-year-old has now won four ATP titles this season, as many as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev.

However, Federer has passed up the chance to pull alongside Sunday's Vienna Open victor Dominic Thiem on five wins for the calendar year, suggesting in a statement his exertions in Basel weighed heavily upon his decision.

"I am extremely disappointed to have to withdraw from the Rolex Paris Masters," he said.

"I have to spare myself because I want to play as long as possible on the ATP circuit.

"I'm sorry for my French fans that I will see next year at Roland-Garros."

Federer claimed his only win in Paris back in 2011, defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in the final.

He was a semi-finalist at the 2019 French Open, losing to Nadal at the end of a three-year absence from Roland-Garros.

Dominic Thiem rallied from a set down to beat Diego Schwartzman and claim a maiden Vienna Open title in his homeland on Sunday.

Schwartzman threatened to rip up the script at the Wiener Stadthalle, but top-seeded Austrian Thiem stormed back to win 3-6 6-4 6-3.

Thiem, who had failed to reach the final in his previous nine appearances in the tournament, recovered from a tentative start to stamp his authority on an entertaining match and claim an ATP Tour-leading fifth title of the season.

The world number five struggled with his serve in the first set and Schwartzman capitalised, but the favourite turned the tide to win a 16th title of his career with the backing of a partisan crowd.

Thiem failed to hold in the opening game of the match, but Argentinian Schwartzman was then broken to love in his first service game.

Schwartzman gained the initiative again by breaking for a 3-2 lead and took the set in emphatic fashion, with a break to love of his own.

Thiem took that in his stride and applied pressure early in the second set without immediate reward as the two continued to serve up high-quality rallies, trading punches from the baseline and mixing it up with deft drop shots.

The two-time French Open runner-up pumped his fist after fifth seed Schwartzman netted a forehand to go a break down at 5-4, and Thiem grasped the opportunity to serve out the set.

Thiem had the momentum and charged into a 2-0 lead in the decider, another errant Schwartzman forehand giving him the break in the opening game.

Schwartzman continued to put up a fight but could not force a break of his own and Thiem dropped to the deck in celebration after running in to put away a forehand winner and seal the title.

Roger Federer produced another sterling display to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas and move one win away from his 10th Swiss Indoors Basel title at a raucous St Jakobshalle.

Twenty-time grand slam champion Federer has been in brilliant, bruising form all week in his hometown, even if he reached the last four thanks to compatriot Stan Wawrinka's withdrawal due to a back injury.

There was no let up against his toughest opponent yet as Tsitsipas failed to withstand the Swiss storm, going down 6-4 6-4 to the stylish top seed and nine-time winner.

Tsitsipas, taken to three sets by Filip Krajinovic in the quarters while Federer rested, was immediately under intense pressure as a partisan crowd backed their man to go on the offensive.

The Greek escaped from the first five break points he faced but there was no halting Federer, who forced his opponent into a corner from where he could only find the net on the sixth opportunity.

Tsitsipas did well to prevent further damage but could not get back on serve, before Federer blasted into the lead in the first game of the second.

The 21-year-old forged his first break point in the final game of the match as the veteran favourite recovered from the brief hiccup to serve his way to a straightforward but impressive triumph.

Alex De Minaur awaits Federer in the final after battling past Reilly Opelka in three tie-breaks, winning 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-3).

"In the second set, I did everything right - he just came up with two very big points," the Australian said. "I knew I just had to say, 'Too good,' and get ready for the third set."

De Minaur added of the Sunday decider: "I can't wait. It's my first time here and it's been a hell of an experience. I'm really looking forward to coming out tomorrow and having some fun."

Having never won an ATP Tour title prior to this season, De Minaur has triumphed in his three final appearances in 2019.

Dominic Thiem reached his third ATP Tour final in as many months with a battling victory over Matteo Berrettini at the Vienna Open.

Home hope Thiem, a recent winner at the Generali Open and China Open, avenged his Shanghai Masters loss to Berrettini by coming from behind to triumph 3-6 7-5 6-3 in two hours and 33 minutes.

Thiem, the top seed, will meet Diego Schwartzman in Sunday's final at the ATP 500 event, having made it to the showpiece match at this tournament for the first time in his 10th attempt.

After benefiting from Pablo Carreno Busta's retirement on Friday, the Austrian's task was not as straightforward in his semi-final against the third-seeded Italian, who had beaten him in the last eight in Shanghai a fortnight ago.

He dropped the first set after an energetic Berrettini broke three times.

But Berrettini's 28-match run of winning matches after claiming the first set came to an end amid a superb atmosphere.

After the pair exchanged breaks, Thiem made the decisive breakthrough to move 6-5 up in the second set before holding comfortably, levelling the match with a forehand up the line.

Thiem had won 10 of his previous 12 deciding sets this season and stretched that to a Tour-leading mark of 11 by breaking twice to race away with the third set, sealing victory with a backhand winner down the line on his second match point.

Despite Saturday's loss, Berrettini will reach the top 10 of the world rankings on Monday after his exploits this week and has boosted his hopes of joining Thiem in qualifying for the ATP Finals.

The second semi-final contained two players also hoping to reach London, as Schwartzman claimed a comfortable victory over Gael Monfils.

Argentine Schwartzman broke twice in each set to win 6-3 6-2 in 75 minutes, securing the win and a third final appearance of 2019 when Monfils fired a backhand long on his first match point.

Stefanos Tsitsipas battled past Filip Krajinovic to set up a semi-final with favourite Roger Federer in the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Tsitsipas is already assured of his place in the ATP Finals in London and he will now be aiming to claim the scalp of former world number one Federer, who received a walkover due to Stan Wawrinka's withdrawal, ahead of next week's Paris Masters.

Krajinovic was no pushover for the Greek, however, with Tsitsipas initially falling behind before recovering to win 3-6 6-4 6-4.

Despite Tsitsipas cruising through the second set to restore parity, matters looked set to be complicated for the world number seven when he conceded a break early in the decider.

But Krajinovic was unable to capitalise – Tsitsipas holding his nerve and cracking his opponent's serve once more before wrapping up the win with the first match point on offer.

Meanwhile, Reilly Opelka ended a run of three successive defeats against top-10 opponents as he defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 3-6 6-3.

The 22-year-old American lost to world number 10 Agut at the Shanghai Masters, but inflicted revenge on Friday, inflicting a blow to the Spaniard's ATP Finals hopes.

With Matteo Berrettini having progressed to the last four in Vienna, Agut is now 130 points adrift of the Italian in the Race to London rankings.

Opelka will go up against Alex de Minaur – a Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier – in the semi-finals, after the Australian overcame Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in Friday's other match.

Kei Nishikori has undergone surgery on an elbow injury which ended his 2019 season early, the ATP Tour has confirmed.

The world number eight cut his season short due to a problem with his right elbow, having not competed since going out to Alex de Minaur in the third round of the US Open in August.

Nishikori, who recently parted ways with long-term coach Dante Bottini, won the Brisbane International title after beating Daniil Medvedev in the final in January, though that was his only final appearance of 2019 as the 29-year-old made it to the last eight at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Japanese number one Nishikori is expected to make his comeback at the inaugural ATP Cup in January in Perth, representing his country alongside Yoshihito Nishioka.

Stan Wawrinka has been forced to pull out of a dream home quarter-final against Roger Federer at the Swiss Indoors Basel due to a back injury.

The seventh seed Wawrinka displayed plenty of grit to dispatch of Frances Tiafoe 6-3 3-6 7-5 on Thursday and was set to meet Swiss great Federer in the last eight.

However, Wawrinka – a losing finalist to Andy Murray at last week's European Open – will not be able to take to the court to face Federer for a 27th time.

"The bad news is that I will have to retire," he said.

"I had some trouble with my back in the last game. I'm sure I cannot make it for tomorrow [Friday]. I will pull out."

Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had to fight back to avoid an upset against Ricardas Berankis, the Greek recovering to seal a 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 triumph. 

Filip Krajinovic is up next after he upset fifth seed Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-4, while Roberto Bautista Agut needed three sets to defeat Richard Gasquet.

Reilly Opelka will take on the Spanish fourth seed after he recovered from a set down to defeat David Goffin 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.

 

Dominic Thiem ended his Fernando Verdasco hoodoo to reach the quarter-finals of the Vienna Open in his homeland.

Top seed Thiem had lost all four matches against the experienced Spaniard before coming from behind to secure a 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory on Thursday.

The world number five will face Pablo Carreno Busta in his 11th last-eight encounter of another impressive season after recovering from a poor start.

Verdasco charged into a 3-0 lead and did not face a break point in the first set, but Thiem won 97 per cent of points on serve in the second as he forced a decider.

Thiem dominated the final set, Verdasco winning just one point on the Austrian's serve to bow out in the second round.

Andrey Rublev's hopes of winning back-to-back titles are still alive after the Russian beat Hyeon Chung 6-4 6-2.

Rublev, winner of the Kremlin Cup on home soil last weekend, will take on Matteo Berrettini, while fourth seed Gael Monfils defeated teenage wildcard Jannik Sinner 6-3 7-6 (10-8).

Diego Schwartzman accounted for Sam Querrey with a 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory and Pablo Carreno Busta needed three sets to get past Mikhail Kukushkin, with Aljaz Bedene also advancing at the expense of Gilles Simon.

Former tennis star Andrea Gaudenzi will assume the role of ATP chairman when Chris Kermode leaves his position at the end of the year.

It was announced in March that executive chairman and president Kermode would not receive an extension to his contract, a move that was reportedly spearheaded by ATP Player Council president Novak Djokovic.

Gaudenzi, who won three ATP titles and reached a career-high ranking of 18 before gaining a law degree and moving into business, was the board of directors' unanimous choice to take over.

World number one and 16-time grand slam champion Djokovic welcomed the appointment of someone with high-level on-court experience.

"On behalf of the players, I'd like to welcome Andrea as the next chairman of the ATP," Djokovic said in a statement.

"As a former player, he has walked in our shoes, and has also become a successful entrepreneur following his playing career.

"He has all the qualities to lead the Tour and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the players and the sport more generally."

Gaudenzi said: "The ATP has played a central part in my life in so many ways, and to be given this opportunity to serve as ATP chairman is a true honour.

"I look forward to overseeing the future direction of the Tour and building on the sport's global success and popularity at what is unquestionably one of the most exciting times in the history of men's professional tennis."

Roger Federer acknowledged his struggles against Radu Albot in Miami provided him with motivation for his demolition of the Romanian at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Federer, seeking his 10th title at his hometown tournament, cruised to a 6-0 6-3 win in his second-round match, needing just 62 minutes to do so on Wednesday.

It was a stark contrast to the 20-time grand slam champion's meeting with Albot in Miami, where he had to come from a set down to win 4-6 7-5 6-3.

"I'm extremely happy because I really struggled against him in Miami and he definitely got my attention there. I was basically a point away from losing," Federer said.

"It was important for me to show a reaction to that match and come out with a proper game plan. I think I learned a lot from that match."

Federer will next face either compatriot Stan Wawrinka or Frances Tiafoe in the quarter-finals. Wawrinka beat Pablo Cuevas 6-3 6-4 while Tiafoe saw off Daniel Evans 6-4 6-2.

Taylor Fritz pulled off a shock in the first round by defeating Alexander Zverev, but he could not back that up in the second as Alex de Minaur claimed a 6-3 6-3 victory over the American. Wednesday's other second-round clash saw Jan-Lennard Struff overcome Henri Laaksonen 6-3 6-4.

Marin Cilic failed to build on his run to the Kremlin Cup semi-finals, the former US Open champion suffering a 6-4 6-4 loss to sixth seed David Goffin.

Ricardas Berankis and Filip Krajinovic were the day's other winners.

Meanwhile, at the Erste Bank Open, Matteo Berrettini bolstered his hopes of securing an ATP Finals spot with a second-round triumph against Grigor Dimitrov.

The Italian, eighth in the Race to London rankings, prevailed in a battle of this year's US Open semi-finalists 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1), hitting 36 winners to add 45 points to his tally.

Gael Monfils kept his hopes of a spot in London alive by coming from behind to avoid an upset against Dennis Novak. The Frenchman recovered to come through 2-6 7-5 6-3 in his first-round clash.

The other second-round match in Vienna saw Karen Khachanov progress as Marton Fucsovics retired in the third set

Denis Shapovalov fell back down to earth after winning his first ATP title in Stockholm last week, losing 6-3 7-5 to Pablo Carreno Busta. Elsewhere in the draw, there were wins for Mikhail Kukushkin, Andrey Rublev and Sam Querrey.

Roger Federer brushed aside Radu Albot to remain on course for a 10th title at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

Having seen off Peter Gojowczyk in short order in the first round, the 20-time grand slam champion was similarly emphatic in eliminating Albot, who offered scarce resistance in a 6-0 6-3 rout.

Albot won only six points on serve as Federer took the first set in just 22 minutes, and the Moldovan then looked in danger of being condemned to a double bagel.

Federer won the first two games of the second before Albot belatedly got on the board as he finally held serve.

Success in that game was greeted with huge applause from an appreciative crowd, and Albot was able to see the humourous side of his struggle as he performed a bow for the spectators.

He took two further games to give the scoreline at least a modicum of respectability, but an unbelievable comeback was never on the cards.

Federer wrapped up the victory in 62 minutes, losing only 10 points on serve and hitting 32 winners to blow away the overmatched Albot.

The 38-year-old could next face compatriot Stan Wawrinka as Federer looks to claim his 23rd straight match win in his hometown in what will be his 17th quarter-final in 19 appearances at the tournament.

Wawrinka, who lost to Andy Murray in the final of the European Open last week, will face Frances Tiafoe on Thursday.

Alexander Zverev suffered a huge shock in the first round of the Swiss Indoors Basel on Tuesday as he succumbed to a straight-sets defeat to Taylor Fritz.

Zverev had been in tremendous form since a disappointing fourth-round exit at the US Open, reaching the semi-finals of the China Open and the final of the Shanghai Masters.

However, the second seed fell back down to earth in Switzerland as Fritz claimed his fourth top-10 win of the year.

The American fired down 37 winners in a 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 triumph that marked the biggest of his career by ranking.

"I played really solid, so it feels good to get that [win] instead of him getting me for the third time in a row," Fritz said. "I got out there today and the sliders [on my serve] were working well."

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who ended Zverev's China Open run, had no issues as he saw off Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-3 7-6 (8-6).

The Greek remains on course for a potential semi-final with Roger Federer, whose next obstacle in his bid for a 10th title in his hometown will be Radu Albot, who overcame Dusan Lajovic in three sets.

Roberto Bautista Agut and Fabio Fognini earned straight-sets wins over Marius Copil and Alexei Popyrin respectively, while Richard Gasquet defeated Juan Ignacio Londero and Reilly Opelka beat Cristian Garin.

At the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, top seed Dominic Thiem started his quest for a second title in his home country this year with a 6-4 7-6 (7-2) defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

There were shocks in the Austrian capital as seventh seed Guido Pella went down 6-4 6-4 to Aljaz Bedene while Milos Raonic was beaten by Chung Hyeon 6-4 7-5.

Aside from his appearance at the Laver Cup, Tuesday marked Raonic's first match since retiring from the Rogers Cup with a back injury, and the former Wimbledon finalist saw a second-set comeback fall short.

Eighteen-year-old Jannik Sinner, fresh from his run to the European Open semi-finals, continued his fine form by overcoming Philipp Kohlschreiber. Gilles Simon defeated Feliciano Lopez in straight sets and Fernando Verdasco won a three-set tussle with Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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