Improbable as it seemed when Novak Djokovic had elbow surgery in February before slumping into a crisis of confidence, the Serb was guaranteed a return to world number one on Wednesday.
Browsing: Fernando Verdasco
Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic have been forced to withdraw from the Paris Masters with both players’ seasons now in doubt.
The former World No 1 will now focus on his rehabilitation ahead of the 2019 season
The former world number one and 2012 US Open champion, who is still working his way back from hip surgery and had earlier downplayed his chances, battled Verdasco for nearly three hours and 30 minutes.
The Serbian, champion at Roland Garros in 2016, wasn’t broken by the Spanish veteran in a resounding 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.
The Bulgarian was pushed to five sets by American Jared Donaldson in the previous round.