Djokovic returns to tour with clinical win over Etcheverry in Paris to make last 16

The Serb beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday evening. He will play Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in the next round.

Novak Djokovic, Paris Masters, 2023 Novak Djokovic wins on return to tour at the 2023 Paris Masters Chryslene Caillaud / Panoramic
Rolex Paris Masters •Third round • completed
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Novak Djokovic made a winning return to the ATP Tour as he authoritatively dispatched Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-3, 6-2 to move into the last 16 of the Paris Masters at the Accor Arena.

It was the Serb’s first tour match since beating Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final back in September to win his 24th Grand Slam singles title.

But there was very little sign of rustiness from the world No 1, who was sharp and commanding throughout the contest, playing clean and clinical tennis at a level that his Argentinian opponent simply could not equal.

Vintage Djokovic has too much for Etcheverry

In a typically tidy Djokovic performance, the Serb outperformed his younger opponent in almost every statistical department, hitting 21 winners to only 16 unforced errors. He won 81% of his first serves points and did not miss a second serve in the match, as Etcheverry struggled to make inroads on the Serb’s serve.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion mixed things up nicely as he made good use of the serve-and-volley to keep his opponent guessing.

Djokovic cruises past Etcheverry to continue his incredible season

Djokovic broke once in the first set and twice in the second to cruise to a straightforward win, one that did not light up the Accor Arena but most probably left the Parisian crowd feeling satisfied at having witnessed a tennis masterclass.

Etcheverry ends excellent season, while Novak marches on

Etcheverry closes the curtain on a thoroughly impressive season, one in which he cracked the top 30 and reached a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final courtesy of his memorable run at Ronald-Garros.

The 24-year-old has power and panache in abundance and has made a name for himself this year as one to watch for 2024.

Today in Paris was, once again, Djokovic’s day though. With Carlos Alcaraz having been knocked out in his opening match by Roman Safiullin, the world No 1 will be eager to press home his advantage in the race for the year-end No 1 ranking – a race which could be all but over by the end of the week should the Serb perform well.

Next up for Djokovic is Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, a potentially tricky opponent but one whom few would back to stop the world No 1 reaching the last eight.

He’s been away for nearly two months, but Djokovic has yet again slid seamlessly back into his role as the world’s best.

He remains the man to beat – both in Bercy, and in men’s tennis.

Paris Masters, other second-round results
(Accor Arena, EUR 5.779.335, most recent results first):

  • Jannik Sinner vs. Mackenzie McDonald
  • Dominic Thiem vs. Holger Rune
  • Ugo Humbert vs. Alexander Zverev
  • Casper Ruud vs. Francisco Cerundolo: wednesday
  • Alex De Minaur (13) beat Dusan Lajovic (LL): 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas (7) beat Felix Auger-Aliassime: 6-3, 7-6 (4)
  • Hubert Hurkacz (11) beat Roberto Bautista Agut: 6-3, 6-2
  • Grigor Dimitrov beat Daniil Medvedev (3): 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2)
  • Botic van de Zandschulp (Q) beat Tommy Paul (12): 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
  • Taylor Fritz vs. Daniel Altmaier
  • Andrey Rublev (5) beat Yoshihito Nishioka (Q): 6-4, 6-3
  • Alexander Bublik beat Nicolas Jarry: 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3)
  • Roman Safiullin (Q) beat Carlos Alcaraz (2): 6-3, 6-4
  • Karen Khachanov (16) beat Laslo Djere: 6-4, 7-5
  • Tallon Griekspoor beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina: 6-2, 6-2

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