Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic defeats Jeremy Chardy at Shanghai Masters

Tennis

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic defeats Jeremy Chardy at the Shanghai Masters.

Novak Djokovic began his charge for a fourth Shanghai Masters title with a 6-3 7-5 victory against Jeremy Chardy to reach the last 16.

The 31-year-old, in contention to finish as the year-end world No 1 after his return to top form, continued his dominance against the Frenchman with another straight-sets win in their 12th encounter.

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic, playing his first competitive event since his US Open success, didn’t face a single break point on serve as he booked a meeting with Marco Cecchinato or Hyeon Chung.

The former world No 1 was largely in control throughout the match as two breaks of serve won the Serb his 27th consecutive set against Chardy.

Djokovic, who first met his fellow 31-year-old in 2009, was pushed harder in a more competitive second set before the 14-time Grand Slam champion secured victory on his second match point.

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem became the highest-ranked player to exit as Matthew Ebden defeated the Austrian 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-4) to claim his third victory over a top 10 opponent.

Djokovic

Thiem, this year’s French Open finalist, had come into the Masters 1000 event fresh from a two-week break and his third title of the season in St Petersburg.

Nikoloz Basilashvili

Nikoloz Basilashvili, who lifted the Beijing title on Sunday, extended his winning streak to six matches by beating Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-2 6-2 in just under an hour.

The 26-year-old Georgian will meet fourth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the second round.

“It’s very important I won today after Beijing because it gives me a lot of confidence for a big match that I have,” Basilashvili said.

“Sascha is a very good player and I think it’s going to be a very difficult match for me, but very interesting. I am feeling very fresh and have a lot of energy so I’ll have no excuses.”

Benoit Paire 

Benoit Paire knocked out 15th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-4 in the first round and will next meet Australian teenager Alex de Minaur, who overcame Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

This year’s French Open finalist had come into the Masters 1000 event fresh from a two-week break and his third title of the season in St Petersburg but fell to an early exit.

Benoit Paire knocked out 15th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-4 in the first round and will next meet Australian teenager Alex de Minaur, who overcame Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Australian Open

Novak Djokovic lost to Hyeon Chung at the Australian Open and also suffered a surprise defeat to Marco Cecchinato at the French Open this year.

Djokovic extends head-to-head record over Frenchman to 12-0; Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem both exit.

Novak Djokovic says he is “grateful” to be in position fighting for the year-end world No 1 after a glorious return to top form.

Shanghai Masters

The Shanghai Masters 1000 could have a significant bearing on determining who will finish the year in pole position and the Serb has hit form at the right time having endured a difficult start to the year.

Djokovic took time to recover from a long-standing elbow injury which required surgery, but has since climbed 19 spots up to No 3 after winning two majors and the Cincinnati Masters.

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