Djokovic Passes Opening Paris Test Over Muller

World No. 1 looks for fourth consecutive BNP Paribas Masters title.

Three-time defending BNP Paribas Masters champion Novak Djokovic continued his quest to maintain the World No. 1 ranking with a solid 6-3, 6-4 win over Gilles Muller on Wednesday in Paris.

“It was great to start off the way I did today. Not an easy opponent because he serves and volleys, and I found the conditions quite quick,” said Djokovic. “I think I managed to find the right rhythm, right pace from the very beginning… capitalised on the opportunities when they were presented. I was quite pleased with my serve. I think I got a lot of free points there. It was quite a good performance.”

A lone break of serve in each set was all that Djokovic needed to move through in one hour and 20 minutes. The victory over Muller gave Djokovic his 16th consecutive victory in Bercy and his 60th match win of the season, extending his streak of 60 or more match wins to 10 consecutive years. He also improved to 4-0 over the Luxembourg native in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry.

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The Serbian will keep Andy Murray from moving to the top of the Emirates ATP Rankings if he can reach the final in Paris. The Brit also must reach the final in Paris in order to have any chance at taking over the top spot. However, Djokovic said potentially losing his World No. 1 standing wasn't a concern at the moment.

“My attention is on playing match after match and putting quality and value into my game. I know that if that's the case, then I can challenge anybody in the world on any surface and in any conditions,” said Djokovic. “I'm quite pleased with the way things went on the court today. That's all I'm going to focus on.”

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Next up for Djokovic is an intriguing third-round clash against No. 14 seed Grigor Dimitrov. Djokovic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 5-1, but they haven’t played in over two years.

“I think Grigor is obviously a very talented player. He's been on the tour for some years now and he's more experienced. He has a good work ethic and is always trying to improve his game,” said Djokovic. “He can hurt anybody with his big serve and forehand. I’m sure he’s going to be very motivated to play well tomorrow.”


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