© Javier Mendez/ATP Tour

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal practised together ahead of their opening-round matches at the Rolex Paris Masters.

What Battle For No. 1? Djokovic & Nadal Practise Together In Paris

Top two seeds share the court on Saturday

The battle for year-end No. 1 continues at next week’s Rolex Paris Masters, but you wouldn’t know it watching Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal practise together on Saturday.

The top two seeds put aside the magnitude of what's at stake and had a two-hour practice on centre court, closing out their early afternoon session with competitive match play. Nadal led Djokovic 6-4, 2-2, before they moved to a tie-break that the Serbian won. Nadal and Djokovic carried themselves with the intensity that fans have come to expect, but still shared a few lighthearted moments on court.

“I’m not sure if we can see this in any other sport, but here we like to keep things simple,” said Nadal’s coach, former World No. 1 Carlos Moya. “Why couldn’t we practise with Djokovic? We’ve tried on many occasions, but weren’t able to do it due to scheduling issues.”

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Nadal holds a healthy 1,280 point-lead over Djokovic in the ATP Race to London, which acts a barometer for who will finish the year at No. 1. If the Spaniard can clinch his first title in Paris, he will put the battle out of reach and ensure he finishes as year-end No. 1 for the fifth time. Meanwhile, Djokovic is seeking a record-tying sixth year-end No. 1 finish.

Four-time champion Djokovic will start his week against local favourite Richard Gasquet or fellow Serbian Dusan Lajovic. Nadal begins his campaign against a qualifier or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

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