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Querrey knocks out Djokovic in Paris

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic yesterday crashed out of the Paris Masters in his first match, losing 0-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to American journeyman Sam Querrey in the second round.

Djokovic, who is assured of finishing as the top of the ATP world rankings at the end of the season, has not lost a match at such an early stage of a competition since Miami in March 2010.

His departure is a fresh blow for the tournament which has already had to do without star draw absentees Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic, who regardless of this defeat takes over the world number one spot from Federer on Monday, strode onto the court wearing a Darth Vader mask but found himself the victim of a Halloween horror show.

Querrey fired 18 aces in a battle lasting just over two hours, with the American winning his first career match against a top-three player.

Djokovic had spoken this week about the repercussions the lack of a rest week prior to the season-ending World Tour Finals which begin in London on Monday could have, though barely imagining that he could be the week’s first major victim.

“I knew the main problems would be my energy, it wasn’t there during the second set. I really felt my level drop,” Djokovic said after the defeat.

“I struggled every game, but on the brighter side I have time to rest.

“I’ve been through a really difficult period this last few weeks. There have been a lot of things on my mind, some things happened...

“I have a couple of days now to rest. I’ve had to face some things a bit unusual for me, but when you lose a match you move on and go to the last tournament of the year.”

The last two places in the London field will be decided this week in Paris, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the next qualification candidate.

He heads Serb Janko Tipsarevic who kept his hopes alive after beating Dutch player Igor Sijsling 6-4, 7-6.

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