Novak Djokovic hails 'phenomenal achievement', Roger Federer three wins from 100th title

Ross Houston
November 3, 2018

Roger Federer has made a comfortable start to his quest for a 100th title, dispatching Fabio Fognini in straight sets to ease into the quarter-finals at the Paris Masters.

Cilic next will take on Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who won 6-1, 2-1 over Bosnia and Herzegovina's Damir Dzumhur who retired in the 52nd minute of the match.

Seeking a record-equalling 33rd Masters and record-extending fifth Paris title, Djokovic will face a much more challenging test in the last eight against Marin Cilic.

Before and after defeating Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-3 to move into the quarter-finals, the 37-year-old looked touched by the reception in the arena and responded by "saluting" them in a post-match on-court address.

In Federer's match the Swiss was forced to save two break points when serving at 4-3 in the second set but held on and them immediately broke Fognini's serve to love to seal the victory.

Federer applied pressure from the off and, with Fognini evidently vulnerable on his second serve, a swift break was secured as the Italian found the net.

If he wins that, against Kei Nishikori, he could face Novak Djokovic in the semifinals - but Federer is thinking more about winning the season-ending ATP Finals, which start November 11. The Japanese kept his London hope alive with the win, but he needs to reach the final for a chance.

Federer, who is also in Paris along with his two longtime rivals for the ongoing Rolex Masters, revealed that he turned down the offer, which is expected to pay $1 million each to both Nadal and Djokovic. If I can do well here in Paris and beat him (Novak Djokovic), all the better. "So as I said, I can't be too ecstatic about it". 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 am very close to London, to securing my spot mathematically", said Cilic, who is part of the Croatia team facing France in the Davis Cup final at the end of the month.

Zverev next faces unseeded Karen Khachanov. But it is Djokovic who will be top dog when the latest ATP rankings appear on Monday, irrespective of his fate in the French capital this week.

Alexander Zverev also won over Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-4.

Defending champion Jack Sock needed less than one hour to beat lucky loser Malek Jaziri 6-0, 6-4. In addition, when Novak takes the number 1 spot on Monday, that will be the seventh change at the top in 2018, the most since that insane 1999 season when we had eight big shifts in the standings.

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