Novak Djokovic celebrated reclaiming the world No. 1 ranking by setting a new personal landmark en route to reaching the Paris Masters quarter-finals yesterday.
This means that Rafa will relinquish the title of the first racket of the world Serb Novak to Djokovic. He went on to trail 4-5 while leading 40-15, but let slip his advantage in the tenth game to lose 6-4 in the first set.
"Reflecting on what I've been through in the past year, it's quite a phenomenal achievement", said Djokovic who will face Marin Cilic for a spot in the semi-finals.
"I'm happy to play tomorrow".
Even though he continued after receiving physio treatment in a time-out and taking pain-killers, there was no way back.
Djokovic had never dropped a set in five previous meetings with Portugal's Sousa, but he surrendered a 4-1 lead in the opener and appeared under the weather before regrouping to break Sousa at 6-5.
Once he had earned an inevitable break for 2-1, consoled the Bosnian, who told him at the net that he was in no shape to continue.
Croatia's Marin Cilic will play Germany's Philip Kohlschreiber after he beat Robin Haase of The Netherlands 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. "He likes playing indoors".
"He has a big serve and big game from back of the court. So that's little bit more motivation to be here", he added. "Tough to receive his missiles".
"I don't know. You know, I am very sorry but I can not answer".
Speaking at a press conference the same day, Nadal said: "I arrived here a couple of days ago, as everyone knows I have been outside of the competition since the US Open". We respect each other. We've had some great matches in the past.
The win also improved the Croat's prospects of making the ATP Finals in London starting on November 11.
Initial whistles from the Parisian crowd at the delay were eventually replaced by clapping as the Serbian ace retrieved a towel to hand to the spectator, who was later helped from his seat by medical staff.
"I am very close to London, to securing my spot mathematically", said Cilic.
"It's always fun to play him".
Khachanov beat John Isner 6-4, 6-7 (9), 7-6 (8) in a match in which the eighth-seeded Isner had 19 aces but missed two match points. World number eight Dominic Thiem boosted his chances of qualifying for the ATP Finals, beating Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-2 and next faces Borna Coric for a quarter-final slot.
Khachanov, who won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month, did not face a break point in the 2 1/2-hour match.
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