Federer healthy for first Paris Masters since 2015

World No. 3 Roger Federer skipped last year's edition in order to take a break, while he missed the 2016 event with an injury.
World No. 3 Roger Federer skipped last year's edition in order to take a break, while he missed the 2016 event with an injury.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS • World No. 3 Roger Federer does not feel he is "taking a chance on his health" by playing at this week's Paris Masters for the first time since 2015.

The third seed skipped last year's edition in order to take a break, while he missed the 2016 event with an injury.

But, coming off his 99th ATP Tour title at the Swiss Indoors in Basel last weekend, Federer is now in the mood to "play matches (instead of) practice again".

"I'm happy to play. I feel like I recovered well from last week. So yeah, I'll give it a go. I'm excited," said the 20-time Grand Slam event winner. "I prefer playing to training as long as I don't take any risks ahead of the (Nov 11-18) London Masters."

The Swiss' only tournament victory in Bercy came in 2011 and, on his last appearance in 2015, he was knocked out by American John Isner in the round of 16.

This is the first non-Grand Slam event to feature Federer, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and second-ranked Novak Djokovic since last year's Indian Wells Masters.

Federer also revealed he had turned down an invite to take part in an exhibition tournament featuring Nadal and Djokovic in Saudi Arabia next month. "I didn't want to play there at that time. So, for me, it was a very quick decision," said the 37-year-old.

EASY CALL TO MAKE

I didn't want to play there at that time. So, for me, it was a very quick decision.

ROGER FEDERER , men's world No. 3, on turning down an offer to play an exhibition tournament in Saudi Arabia next month.

Nadal and Djokovic are scheduled to meet in Jeddah on Dec 22, but they have faced growing calls to withdraw following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country's Istanbul consulate.

While both players have said they are assessing the situation and are yet to make a final decision over their participation, Djokovic did not let the issue distract him as he stepped up his pursuit of the No. 1 rank with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Portugal's Joao Sousa on Tuesday.

 

The 14-time Major winner can regain the top spot this week if he betters Nadal's performance at the indoor tournament, where he is a four-time winner. He will meet Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur, who defeated 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-3, 6-3, in the last 16 today.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA

ATP PARIS MASTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2018, with the headline 'Federer healthy for first Paris Masters since 2015'. Print Edition | Subscribe