Rafael Nadal to tackle Chung Hyeon at Paris Masters

31 October 2017 12:54

Rafael Nadal will take on Chung Hyeon in the second round of the Paris Masters knowing victory will guarantee he closes out the year as world number one.

The Spaniard is virtually assured of finishing top of the year-ending pile for the fourth time in his career after rival Roger Federer withdrew from competing in the French capital as he rests his troublesome back.

And on Monday, Nadal learned the identity of the opponent standing in his way of guaranteeing top spot after South Korea's Chung thumped Mischa Zverev of Germany 6-0 6-2 in 57 minutes.

Nadal, given a first-round bye, has never gone all the way in this indoor hard court event but will be strong favourite to end that drought in the absence of Federer, who has won the last five encounters between the pair.

Qualifier Jeremy Chardy clinched his first victory in five matches with Gilles Simon and marked the occasion in style by hammering his fellow Frenchman 6-3 6-0 in a little over an hour.

In another all-French encounter, Richard Gasquet edged out Benoit Paire 6-3 4-6 6-4 while compatriots Nicolas Mahut and Julien Benneteau were also victorious over Canadian opposition.

Mahut prevailed 5-7 7-5 7-6 (7/4) over qualifier Vasek Pospisil in two hours and 35 minutes before wild card Benneteau was a surprise 6-4 6-4 winner against highly-rated 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov.

German lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk claimed a 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 win over Ryan Harrison, whose fellow American Steve Johnson was thrashed 6-2 6-1 by Dutchman Robin Haase, and Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic eased past Japan's Yuichi Sugita 6-4 6-2.

Source: PA