I turned down offer to play in Saudi Arabia

Novak Djokovic vs Sampras Roger Federer's former coach draws comparison

Rafael Nadal announced on October 31 that he will not be able to compete at the Paris Masters tennis tournament due to a niggle in his abdominal muscles.

With Djokovic only needing to better Nadal's performance in Paris to take top spot, the Wimbledon and US Open champion will become world number one for the first time in nearly two years next week.

Djokovic's return to No 1 when the new ATP rankings are released next Monday was sealed on Wednesday when the current holder of that accolade, Rafa Nadal, had to pull out of the Paris event with an abdominal injury.

The Wimbledon and US Open champion led Damir Dzumhur 6-1 2-1 when the Bosnian was forced to retire because of injury.

"I didn't want to play there at that time".

Nadal's withdrawal could put his participation at the ATP Tour Finals in London in doubt.

Improbable as it seemed when Novak Djokovic had elbow surgery in February then slumped into a crisis of confidence, the Serb was guaranteed a return to world number one on Wednesday.

The record 20-time Grand Slam victor Federer, who won his 99th career title at the Swiss Indoors last Sunday, will next face 13th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy.

Nadal has dealt with off-and-on knee problems for years and the 32-year-old Spaniard prefers to be cautious.

Novak Djokovic broke off from serving for victory against Joao Sousa to help a spectator who was taken ill at the Paris Masters tennis tournament.

He added: "We have to get more information on what's happening so we can make a rational decision whether it's good to go or not". "I had a commitment since one year to play there", Nadal said. "I just gave him the towel".

Federer, who won his 99th career title at the Swiss Indoors last Sunday, will face 13th-seeded Fabio Fognini.

"I feel like it would be better for me to play matches rather than practice" Federer said.

Djokovic established his quarterfinal clash with fifth-seeded Marin Cilic.

Should Nadal be fit for the eight-man ATP Finals he will be joined on the London bill by Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson.

Djokovic and Cilic were joined in the quarter-finals by Karen Khachanov who saved two match points against John Isner on his way to defeating the eighth-seeded American 6-4, 6-7 (9/11), 7-6 (10/8).

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