Novak Djokovic back with a bang

Paris, November 3

In his first singles match since missing out on a calendar-year Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic beat Marton Fucsovics 6-2 4-6 6-3 in the second round of the Paris Masters.

No. 1 ranked Djokovic showed signs of rustiness with a couple of unforced errors in the opening game, but he put pressure on his Hungarian opponent with the quality of his service returns, breaking him twice in the first set.

“It was a great fight,” Djokovic said. “We kind of pushed each other to the limit. It was a great opening match for me, I’m very pleased.”

Djokovic could clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking in Paris before the end of the season and break a tie with Pete Sampras with a record seventh year-end No. 1 finish.

Also Tuesday, Felix Auger-Aliassime stayed in contention for a place at the ATP Finals by beating Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager 4-6 6-4 6-1 in the first round.

“I had difficulty with my pace at the beginning of the match. I didn’t hit enough first serves so I had a bit of pressure on my second serve,” Auger-Aliassime said.

American players Reilly Opelka, Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz also advanced to the second round, as did Karen Khachanov of Russia, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and James Duckworth of Australia. Opelka, the runner-up in Toronto, hit 19 aces while beating Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-3, 7-6 (4), while Fritz defeated Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and Paul beat Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-3, 6-4. —AP

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