Djokovic battles back to advance to Paris Masters quarterfinals


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Djokovic battles back to advance to Paris Masters quarterfinals

RELIEVED. Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his round of 16 match against Netherlands' Tallon Griekspoor in the Paris Masters.

Stephanie Lecocq/REUTERS

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic outlasts Tallon Griekspoor to continue his quest for a record-extending seventh Paris Masters crown

PARIS, France – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic fought back to beat Tallon Griekspoor, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4, and reach the Paris Masters quarterfinals on Thursday, November 2 (Friday, November 3, Manila time).

The Serb, unlike in his slick second-round win, looked rusty in only his second singles match since playing in the Davis Cup six weeks ago, losing a 4-1 lead in the first set and squandering three break opportunities early in the second.

The 24-times Grand Slam winner mounted a comeback, however, as he convincingly won the tiebreak and took the decider to continue his quest for a record-extending seventh title in Paris.

“I run out of steam, I’ve been struggling the last couple of days with my stomach, I didn’t feel myself at all on court,” the 36-year-old Djokovic said.

“It could’ve run easily on his way, but I played a good tiebreak and started to feel better on the third. I’m really happy I overcame this challenge.”

Fourth seed Jannik Sinner withdrew from the tournament, citing health reasons after his second-round clash against Mackenzie McDonald ended on Thursday.

The Italian was due to play Australia’s Alex de Minaur, who will now face in-form Andrey Rublev, the fifth-seed Russian who earned his 20th Masters 1000 win of the season by beating qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp, 6-3, 6-3.

Seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas secured his spot at the ATP Finals with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over German 10th seed Alexander Zverev. The Greek will play Karen Khachanov in the quarterfinals after the 16th seed beat fellow Russian Roman Safiullin, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the 11th seed, remained in contention for a spot at the tournament in Turin by beating Argentine Francisco Cerundolo, 6-4, 6-3.

He will meet Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the semifinals after the Bulgarian routed Alexander Bublik, 6-2, 6-2.

In the last act of the evening, defending champion and sixth seed Holger Rune claimed a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win over Daniel Altmaier. The Dane will face Djokovic in a rematch of last year’s final. –

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