1 with Paris win

Serbian Djokovic lost his top ranking to Andy Murray after the 2016 ATP Masters 1000 event in the French capital but has fought his way back to the summit this year.

"The doctor says that is recommended to not play, because if I continue the abdominal maybe can break and can be a major thing".

The 20-time Grand Slam champion and third seed was due to play Milos Raonic but the Canadian pulled out due to an elbow injury.

With the season-ending ATP Finals in London starting November 11, he is playing three straight tournaments.

Djokovic had learnt on Wednesday he would be back as world number one next week following Rafa Nadal's withdrawal from the tournament through injury. The 34-year-old Spaniard will meet compatriot Nadal in the second round on Wednesday.

Djokovic, who returned to form by winning Wimbledon and US Open titles this year, reached the last 16 in Paris by defeating Joao Sousa on Tuesday.

The No. 1 race this week at the Paris Masters is already over.

"But I haven't been really reflecting on that, and I haven't been really focusing on that too much because it's the middle of the week".

"I would love to be in London, of course", said Nadal.

Calling a halt in play, Djokovic went over to the struggling fan while gesturing to the umpire, as Sousa also held up his racket in a signal to stop.

"I don't like to involve myself in any political exchange or situations, it's unfortunate that we are both drawn into this right now", Djokovic told reporters at a news conference ahead of the Paris Masters.

The 37-year-old Swiss had only made a late decision to compete in Bercy after winning his 99th title in his home town Basel on Sunday but, despite a touch of raggedness, was sharp enough to outclass the Italian 6-4, 6-3 in his opening match.

Djokovic can regain top spot from Rafael Nadal this week if he betters the Spaniard's performance in the French capital, where the Serb is a four-time victor of the indoor tournament.

Elsewhere, German fourth seed Alexander Zverev, playing his 70th match of the season, defeated Frances Tiafoe of the United States 6-4, 6-4 while defending champion Jack Sock put out Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-3.

Kei Nishikori had a straightforward 7-5, 6-4 victory over Adrian Mannarino and John Isner served up 33 aces as he beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-7, 7-6.


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