Djokovic hails his return to the top as "phenomenal"

Djokovic hails his return to the top as

Djokovic hails his return to the top as "phenomenal"

The four-time Paris champion, who next faces Marin Cilic in the last eight on Friday, was guaranteed a return to the ranking summit when Nadal withdrew from Paris with an abdominal injury on Wednesday.

"Reflecting on what I've been through in the past year, it's quite a phenomenal achievement", said Djokovic after profiting from Damir Dzumhur's retirement in France. "As long as I don't feel like I'm taking a chance on my health prior to London (the ATP Tour Finals), that's the key as well", Federer said.

"I always believe in myself but, five months ago, if you'd told me I would be back to No.1 so quickly, it was highly improbable considering my ranking and the way I played and felt on the court".

The Wimbledon and US Open champion becomes the first player to start the season outside the top 20 and end up top of the ATP rankings since Marat Safin in 2000.

Elsewhere today, Switzerland's Roger Federer, the 2011 victor, made it through without hitting a ball at the AccorHotels Arena. I checked with the doctor and the doctor said it is recommended I do not play.

It marked the culmination of a dizzying ascent by the Serb, who had slumped to No 22 in the rankings in mid-June, but subsequently won Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open as well as Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai.

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

The Spaniard has pulled out of the Paris event because of an abdominal injury, the BBC reports, and is unsure if he will play in the season finale in London from 11-18 November.

Cilic, who has beaten Djokovic just twice in 17 meetings, ended reigning ATP Finals champion Dimitrov's season. There were doubts Federer would play after a grueling past week that saw him clinch his ninth victory at the Swiss Indoors and 99th overall.

In a high-quality contest between two others seeking a London berth, Dominic Thiem, back in the city where he reached the French Open final, ended Borna Coric's slim hopes while boosting his own with a 6-7 (3) 6-2 7-5 win.

In the quarter-finals, Khachanov will meet Germany's fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who subdued the scurrying defiance of Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-2.

Nadal's place in the second round was given to Malek Jaziri who lost in the final qualifying round on Sunday.

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