Novak Djokovic took the victory on his return to action at the Rolex Paris Masters, but was forced to work hard by Marton Fucsovics.

Djokovic took a break to recharge his batteries after watching his calendar Grand Slam dreams end in a US Open final loss to Daniil Medvedev in September.

He showed no signs of rusting in the first set against Fucsovics but the 40th-ranked Hungarian responded well, keeping an early break in the second to tie the game.

There were a few unusual mistakes in the world number one’s third set, but he got the better of three consecutive service breaks and took a 6-2 4-6 6-3 victory.

Diego Schwartzman needed treatment for cuts and splinters at the hands of his own shattered racquet in a fiery fight against Australia’s John Millman, but the 11th seed ultimately made it 7-6 (2) 5 -7 6-2.

Ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime came in one set to defeat qualifier Gianluca Mager 4-6 6-4 6-1 while Australian James Duckworth defeated 14th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Three-set matches were the order of the day and two more saw home favorite Gaël Monfils come from behind to beat Miomir Kecmanovic and Grigor Dimitrov to see fellow French veteran Richard Gasquet.

Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert in nearly three hours to set up an intriguing second-round clash with compatriot Jannik Sinner.

American trio Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka and Tommy Paul all won while Alexei Popyrin took a surprisingly one-sided 6-3 6-0 victory over fellow Australian Alex De Minaur.

Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem has announced that he plans to return to action at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi next month.

The former US Open champion has been sidelined since before Wimbledon with a wrist injury but has accelerated his recovery.

Thiem wrote on social media: “I am very happy to report that my recovery is going well. The MRI I did today showed that my wrist injury has improved dramatically.

“A few weeks ago I started playing with soft balls and was able to switch to normal tennis balls in yesterday’s practice session. My team and I strongly believe that I will be ready to return to competition later this year.

“I will be returning to competition in December and playing the 2021 MWTC in Abu Dhabi – with the goal of returning to the tour for the 2022 Australian Open.”

Thiem also revealed that he is now vaccinated after being refused entry to last week’s ATP tournament in Vienna as a spectator due to his unvaccinated status.



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