Paris Masters: Federer withdraws, Frenchmen progress

Published by AP / Reuters

Roger Federer (Getty Images)
Last week’s Basel champion Roger Federer pulls out of the Paris Masters as Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic and a group of Frenchmen advance to round two.

Roger Federer has withdrawn from the Paris Masters to get some rest ahead of next month’s ATP Finals.

The 38-year-old Federer won his hometown Swiss Indoors title for the 10th time on Sunday. It was his fourth title in 2019 and the 103rd of his career.

Federer says he needs “to make sure not to strain myself because I want to play as long as possible on the ATP Tour. I’m sorry for my French fans, I’ll see them next year at Roland Garros.”

Seeded No. 3 in Paris, Federer will be replaced by lucky loser Andreas Seppi in the main draw.

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Federer has already earned a spot at the ATP Finals, which features the top eight players in the world. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas have also booked their places.

On Monday, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was one of four French men to progress to the second round in Paris.

“I’m delighted to have won today. Everything was not perfect, obviously, but the most important thing is to have won. In the last two sets, I played good tennis,” Tsonga said after beating Andrey Rublev 4-6 7-5 6-4.

Tsonga will next face 10th seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy for a place in the last 16.

His countrymen Jeremy Chardy, Benoit Paire and Adrian Mannarino all notched victories on the same day.

Also progressing were Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic, who booked their spots in the second round.

Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, dictated his contest against Hubert Hurkacz with power and precision as he won 86% of his first-serve points to seal his third consecutive victory over the Polish player in less than two years.

Big-serving Canadian Raonic capitalised on fast court conditions to outclass Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-2 in just over an hour at the AccorHotels Arena.

A back injury has limited Raonic to three matches since the Rogers Cup in August, but the 2014 Paris runner-up was back to full strength as he struck 14 aces in a masterful display.

Raonic will next face newly-crowned Vienna Open champion Thiem.

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