After Rafael Nadal's withdrawal from Paris on Wednesday, Novak Djokovic has secured the number 1 spot in the rankings next Monday, becoming world number 1 for the first time since October 2016 after an wonderful run since Rome and especially since Wimbledon where he won the title to announce a great comeback.
Nadal was returning from a right knee injury which forced him to retire from the U.S. Open semifinals, but took medical advice not to play against Fernando Verdasco.
Novak Djokovic said that he hasn't reflected on returning to world No. 1 but focused on every match at the 2018 Paris Masters here on Thursday. But in the last few days, I've started to feel the abdominal a little bit - especially when I was serving. "I checked with the doctor and the doctor recommended I did not play".
With the season-ending ATP Finals in London starting November 11, he is playing three straight tournaments.
Federer is seeded behind world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and world No. 2 Novak Djokovic.
It marked the culmination of a dizzying ascent by the Serb, who had slumped to No 22 in the rankings in mid-June, but subsequently won Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open as well as Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai.
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"It's been a hard year for me in terms of injuries, and so I'd prefer to avoid doing anything drastic", Nadal told the media minutes before his intended match against compatriot Fernando Verdasco. "I'll give it a go [on Wednesday]". If I can do well here in Paris and beat (Djokovic), all the better, " Federer said. "So, for me, it was a very quick decision", said Federer.
"It's going to be a tough one", Djokovic added.
Nishikori made the last-16 with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Adrian Mannarino of France.
Federer defeated Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3 as the Swiss great moved three wins away from his 100th career title.
The 31-year-old has been in top form this week but faces a hard last-eight opponent in Marin Cilic tomorrow.