Novak Djokovic is the undisputed King of Tennis, and he’s back in action this week at the Paris Masters indoor hard-court tournament. The three-time and defending champion (2009, 2013, 2014) had a bye into the second round, then advanced to the third with Tuesday’s straight-sets win over Thomaz Bellucci. Next up: No. 14 seed and French native Gilles Simon (Thursday, 4:00 AM ET).
At press time, Djokovic is a heavy –2000 favorite to get past Simon (+900) and into the quarterfinals. Djokovic is also available at –1200 to win the first set, with Simon at +600. They’ve met 10 times in men’s singles action, with Djokovic winning each of their last nine matches after losing on the indoor courts of Marseilles back in 2008.
Among the other players advancing to the third round at press time were No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, plus 2012 champion and No. 8 seed David Ferrer. All the top men’s seeds are present for this prestigious Masters 1000 event, including No. 2 Andy Murray, No. 3 Roger Federer and No. 7 Rafael Nadal. Federer (2011) is the only member of that threesome to win the Paris Masters; Nadal fell to David Nalbandian in the 2007 finals.