Djokovic pulls out of Paris Masters

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic pulled out of the Paris Masters on Friday because of a sore shoulder and apologized to fans who had bought tickets for his quarter-final showdown with French favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

"Sadly I have to inform you that I have withdrawn from the tournament. I have pushed myself to the limit by playing, and after the match yesterday my shoulder got worse," the Serbian world number one said on his official website (

"I am very sorry for all of you who bought tickets and wanted to come and watch me play.

The 24-year-old, who pocketed a $1.6 million bonus just for turning up in Paris by virtue of an ATP rule designed to entice top players to take part in the main events, now faces a race against time to get fit for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London from November 20-27.

Having skipped the Shanghai Masters through injury, he suffered a recurrence of a shoulder problem in his semi-final defeat in Basel by Japan's Kei Nishikori last week.

Djokovic's withdrawal means the sixth-seeded Tsonga will take on either American John Isner, or Spain's David Ferrer, the fourth seed, in the Paris semi-finals.

Briton Andy Murray will open proceedings at Bercy on Friday against Czech Tomas Berdych, followed by Roger Federer against Argentine Juan Monaco.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Alastair Himmer and Pritha Sarkar)