The tennis world number one Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the Paris Masters because of a sore shoulder and apologised to fans who had bought tickets for his quarter-final showdown with French favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Djokovic's body appears to have let him down following a remarkable season in which he won 10 titles, including three grand slams and five Masters crowns, to notch up a 69-4 win-loss record.
The 24-year-old, who pocketed a $2 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 starting on November the 20th.
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 face John Isner, after the big-serving American beat Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer 6-3 3-6 6-3.