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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Roger Federer confirms Paris Masters participation

World No 3 will play the winner of the tie between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Milos Raonic on Wednesday

Switzerland's Roger Federer attends a training session during the Paris Masters on Tuesday and says he will compete on Wednesday. AFP
Switzerland's Roger Federer attends a training session during the Paris Masters on Tuesday and says he will compete on Wednesday. AFP

Roger Federer on Tuesday confirmed his participation at this year's Paris Masters after a three-year absence.

The Swiss world No 3 will play the winner of the tie between France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Canada's Milos Raonic on Wednesday after receiving a bye in the first round.

"I prefer playing to training as long as I don't take any risks ahead of the London Masters, ," Federer said in reference to the November 11-18 event.

"I feel like I've recovered well after last week. I feel good today [Tuesday]," he added after winning the Swiss indoor championships in Basel on Sunday.

Federer's only tournament victory in Bercy came in 2011. On his last appearance in 2015 he was knocked out by American Jon Isner in the last 16.

Meanwhile French hopes of success were dented when Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Jeremy Chardy and Benoit Paire were knocked-out in the first round on Tuesday.

World No 57 Herbert was beaten by Kazakhstan's Mikail Kukushkin in three sets (3-6, 6-3, 7-5) while Jeremy Chardy, ranked 40th, lost 6-4, 6-4 to Spain's Fernando Verdasco.

The 56th-ranked Paire made the opening round through the qualifiers but lost 6-4, 6-4 to Hungary's Marton Fucsovics.

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There was some cheer for the home fans though as Richard Gasquet punished an erratic display from Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov to progress to the second round 6-4, 7-6.

Shapovalov made a brisk start and raced to a 3-0 lead before Gasquet responded with a mix of aggressive backhands and clever drop shots to reel off five consecutive games.

The 19-year-old Canadian struggled to settle into a serving rhythm as he made 18 unforced errors, including five double faults, allowing Gasquet to clinch the opening set in 44 minutes.

Having tightened up his game, Shapovalov roared back in the second set with a string of powerful groundstrokes but Gasquet recovered from 4-1 down to level at 4-4.

Gasquet, ranked 28th in the world, held his serve to force a tiebreak and kept his composure to prevail on the first match point.

Earlier in the day, Russian power-hitter Karen Khachanov began his campaign with a 7-5, 6-2 win over last year's runner-up Filip Krajinovic.

Khachanov, who lifted the Kremlin Cup earlier this month, recovered from a 3-5 down and saved a set point to battle past his Serbian opponent in 75 minutes.