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Sports

Federer arrives for Rolex Paris Masters rendez-vous

media Roger Federer won the Paris Masters title in 2011. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

World number three Roger Federer on Tuesday declared himself fit and ready to battle for his 100th career title.

The 37-year-old arrived in the French capital two days after notching up his 99th senior circuit championship at the Swiss Indoors in Basel on 28 October.

Following his exertions at his hometown tournament, there were question marks over whether he would play at the Rolex Paris Masters.

The third seed quipped: "Well I'm here and I wouldn't be if I weren't going to play."

Following a first round bye, he will either face the Canadian Milos Raonic or the Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday.

“Both of them are big servers, so that makes it straightforward,” said Federer on the eve of the clash. "I feel like I've recovered well after last week in Basel."

The Swiss won the title in Paris in 2011 but has not appeared since 2015 due to injury or his scheduling preferences ahead of the eight man end of season championships in London.

“I feel good and I’m excited about the match coming up against Milos or Jo. I prefer playing matches to practice so long as I don’t take any risks ahead of London.”

Federer’s ticket for that tournament at the 02 Arena was booked on the back of his win at the Australian Open in January. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alex Zverev have also qualified.

The other four places will be confirmed after the tournament in Paris. The honour of being world number one could also be decided during the championships. Djokovic, who has won Wimbledon, the US Open as well as Masters titles in Cincinatti and Shanghai, will dislodge Nadal at the top of the tree if he outperforms the Spaniard at Bercy.

“With Rafa’s injury and him not playing in China, it has put me in a position to be very close to him in the rankings and fight for the year end world number one spot,” said Djokovic. “I am aware of it and I’m going to give my very best to try to achieve it.”

Joao Sousa, the Portuguese qualifier, will be the first man to try to thwart the Serb's surge for supremacy.

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