Tennis: Djokovic survives Moutet scare to win Paris opener

Djokovic returns the ball to France's Corentin Moutet.
Djokovic returns the ball to France's Corentin Moutet.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - World number one Novak Djokovic recovered from a stuttering start to kick off his Paris Masters campaign with a 7-6(2) 6-4 second-round victory over French youngster Corentin Moutet on Wednesday (Oct 30).

The Serbian, looking to end the year at top of the ATP rankings for a record-equalling sixth time, saved two set points before hammering his way past the 20-year-old Moutet.

World number two Rafael Nadal, who will leapfrog Djokovic in the rankings if he wins in Paris, is in action later on Wednesday against France's Adrian Mannarino.

Djokovic fell 5-3 behind in the opening set before rallying back to 5-5 after staving off two set points, forcing a tiebreak that he won easily.

The 16-time grand slam champion stormed through the second set to set up a meeting with either Argentine Diego Schwartzmann or Briton Kyle Edmund.

Earlier, Fabio Fognini's hopes of qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals ended with a 3-6 6-3 6-3 defeat by Canada's Denis Shapovalov.

Fognini, the 11th seed, needed to win the title at the Bercy arena to secure a spot in the Nov. 10-17 tournament featuring the top eight players of the season.

The exuberant 32-year-old made a fine start before losing focus on Court One, sending a backhand long on the unseeded Shapovalov's first match point.

Belgian David Goffin, seeded 12th, was also eliminated from the race to London when he was beaten 7-5 6-3 by Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

He also needed to win the title to qualify.

Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut was also denied a ticket to London with a 7-6(2) 7-6 (1) loss to Alex De Minaur while Frenchman Gael Monfils kept his hopes alive by beating French compatriot Benoit Paire 6-4 7-6(4).

Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem, who has already qualified for the London event at the O2, downed Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(5) 5-7 6-4.