Djokovic hits bonus jackpot in Paris

Updated: 2011-11-10 13:30


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Djokovic hits bonus jackpot in Paris
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Croatia's Ivan Dodig during the Paris Masters tennis tournament, Nov 9, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - Novak Djokovic pocketed a $1.6-million bonus just for turning up on court before making light of shoulder pains to beat Croatian Ivan Dodig 6-4 6-3 in the Paris Masters second round on Wednesday.  

An ATP rule designed to entice top players to take part in the main events states that, as world number one, Djokovic is entitled to a $2-million bonus if he plays in all eight Masters tournaments.

The bonus drops to $1.6 million if he misses one - and to nothing if he misses two.

Having skipped the Shanghai Masters through injury, the Serbian suffered a recurrence of a shoulder problem in his semi-final defeat in Basel by Japan's Kei Nishikori last week.

Djokovic, who said he spent his time between Basel and Paris recovering from the injury, dismissed talk that he had turned up in Paris just to cash in the cheque.

"It was really somehow funny for me to see how people are coming up with that story...I even heard that I would get on the court and play a game just to get this money. This is ridiculous, " he told a news conference.

"I need more matches before (the ATP World Tour finals in) London. I think it's obvious that I'm still not (at the) top of my game. But I'm taking things quite slowly knowing that the form will improve each day that I play.

"I believe in that. I have been working quite hard in the last couple of weeks after my injury, and I think things are going in the right direction."