Paris | Medvedev crashes out as Djokovic eases through.

The world No.1, Novak Djokovic, opened his campaign at the Rolex Paris Masters with a comfortable straight sets victory over Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry as he watched three more of his seeded rivals crash out of the last ATP 1000 level event of the season.

I’m very happy that, you know, I managed to also hold on to my emotions and keep going after my game. Grigor Dimitrov

The top seed from Serbia, won 6-3 6-2 to make the last 16 while Tommy Paul (12), Casper Ruud (8) and, surprisingly, the third seeded Daniil Medvedev, all failed to get past the second round.

In what is his first tournament since claiming the US Open title, Djokovic, a six-time title holder in Paris, dropped just six points on his first serve and saved the only break point he faced.

“I think I played well in the important points,” a satisfied Djokovic said following his 84-minute opener. “Hit the extra shot and made him uncomfortable. I think I changed the position of the court and did not give him the same look. I think that allowed me to break serve in the first set. I was serving up and down. Some parts of the match really good, others losing the rhythm. But I think it is normal to be rusty a little bit after not playing an official match for so long. But a straight-sets win against a guy who has been improving so much!”

Novak Djokovic had a comfortable win

(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

It was the Serb’s 14th consecutive win since losing in the Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz, who crashed out of Paris yesterday and with the dismissal of Medvedev, the draw has opened up very much in his favour.

He will face Tallon Griekspoor for a place in the quarter finals, the Dutchman having dispatched Spain’s Alejandro Davidovic Fokina 6-2 6-2.

Earlier in the day Medvedev had battled for two-hours and 54-minutes to stay in the competition in what was a tight match with Grigor Dimitrov, the Bulgarian eventually prevailing 6-3 6-7(4) 7-6(2).

“I was very resilient throughout the whole match,” Dimitrov said. “I was looking for the match, I always wanted to create the game, I was trying to create my plays and go after the shots.

“I think last week, I think it also gave me a lot of insight of the things I can do better and things I wanted to do better. Yeah, a difficult one today, but I’m very happy that, you know, I managed to also hold on to my emotions and keep going after my game.”

Grigor Dimitrov avenged his defeat last week in Vienna

(Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Last week Dimitrov had lost to Medvedev in Vienna in another tight three setter but on this occasion, he was able to control the situation better.

“He played better,” Medvedev admitted. “Could I do better? I’m not even sure. Bad mistake at 2-0, but that’s mostly it. Other than that, he made some winners and played good points. Served well.

“So in the tiebreak, not much to say. I’m happy the way I fought. I managed to raise my level during the match, so in a way, for sure, very disappointed with the match and the result, but don’t see too much I could do better, and I think I played a good match. So probably should try to stay positive.”

Tommy Paul, the 12th seed, lost to the Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4 2-6 6-3 while 8th seed Casper Ruud’s hopes of qualifying for Turin, took a bad knock as he fell to Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo 7-5 6-4.

Meanwhile Stefanos Tsitsipas strengthened his position in the Race with a 6-3 7-6(4) victory over last week’s Basel champion, Felix Auger Aliassime, as did Alexander Zverev, who eventually, after a three-hours and 29-minutes, got the better of Frenchmen Ugo Humbert 6-4 6-7(3) 7-6(5). The German, seeded 10, served for the match in the second, and then came from a break down in the third to win the marathon.

Currently hanging on to the last spot for Turin, the 6th seeded Holger Rune, the reigning Paris champion, dismissed Austria’s Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-2 but the 11th seeded Hubert Hurkacz is pressing the youngster hard for that last spot which he has kept up with a 56-minute, 6-3 6-2 victory over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.

Alex de Mibaur (13) progressed past Dosan Lajovic 4-6 6-4 6-4 and Jannik Sinner (4) got the better of Mackenzie McDonald by defeating the American 6-7(6) 7-5 6-1.



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