Tennis

Djokovic reaches new landmark

Soon-to-be world No. 1 extends sequence of consecutive winning sets to 30

Novak Djokovic celebrated his elevation to world No. 1 by setting a new personal landmark to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals yesterday.

The Serb won his last-16 tie with Damir Dzumhur after the Bosnian was forced to retire trailing 6-1, 2-1 at Bercy.

Djokovic, looking in much sharper form than he did in his opening match against Joao Sousa, took the set in 39 minutes and, once he had earned an inevitable break for 2-1, consoled the Bosnian, who told him at the net that he was unable to continue.

For second seed Djokovic, it meant he extended his sequence of consecutive winning sets to 30, passing his previous best mark of 29 from 2015.

Djokovic will take over as world No. 1 in the latest ATP rankings on Monday from Rafael Nadal, who withdrew injured from Paris on Wednesday.

He faces Marin Cilic in the last eight today. Cilic, the fifth seed, secured his quarter-final ticket with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over Grigor Dimitrov.

Cilic fired 29 winners to advance to the last eight in the French capital for the third straight year.

“In the next match against Novak, it will be another big challenge. (It will be) great to play him again.” Marin Cilic, who faces Novak Djokovic in the Paris Masters quarter-finals today

The win improved the Croat's prospects of making the ATP Finals in London starting Nov 11.

"I am very close to London, to securing my spot mathematically," said Cilic, who is part of the Croatia team facing France in the Davis Cup final at the end of the month.

"In the next match against Novak, it will be another big challenge. (It will be) great to play him again."

Cilic, who will make the cut for London if he downs Djokovic, ended reigning ATP Finals champion Dimitrov's season.

Dimitrov has been coached in Paris this week by Andre Agassi, a former coach of Djokovic. - AFP

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