Federer's number one hopes take a hit in Paris defeat

Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:06pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Roger Federer's hopes of knocking Novak Djokovic off the top of the ATP world rankings before the end of the year took a hit when he lost to big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in the Paris Masters quarter-finals on Friday.

The Swiss second seed was beaten 7-6(5) 7-5 and Djokovic later saw off Britain's Andy Murray 7-5 6-2 to advance to the semi-finals of a tournament he won last year.

Federer had narrowed the points gap on Djokovic in recent weeks but defeat in Bercy halted his charge, while Japan's Kei Nishikori and Raonic completed the line-up for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals which will be played in London from Nov. 9-16.

All is not lost for Federer, however, as the Swiss is able to boost his points tally in the Davis Cup final against France.

"Milos played well. As I said, I always thought it was going to get solved in London," Federer, who beat Raonic in the Wimbledon semi-final this year, told a news conference.

"Whether I am number one at the end of this year or one or two weeks later next year, it doesn't really matter. Novak seems to be fit, anyway."

Seventh seed Raonic, who qualified for London after Nishikori beat Spanish fourth seed Ferrer 3-6 7-6 (5) 6-4 to become the first Asian singles player to qualify for the season-ending showpiece, served 21 aces to beat Federer for the first time in seven attempts.

Raonic will face Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals after the Czech booked his place in London with a 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 victory over South African Kevin Anderson.   Continued...

Switzerland's Roger Federer reacts during his men's singles quarter-final tennis match against Milos Raonic of Canada at the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy sports hall in Paris, October 31, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier