Rafael Nadal charges into Paris quarters

By: Reuters - Inquirer.net | November 06,2020 - 02:50 PM

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France – November 5, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his third round match against Australia’s Jordan Thompson REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS—Top seed Rafa Nadal was forced to save a set point before overcoming Australian Jordan Thompson 6-1 7-6(3) on Thursday to reach the Paris Masters quarterfinals.

A day after becoming the fourth player in the Open Era to record 1,000 tour-level wins, Nadal resumed his pursuit of a maiden Paris-Bercy title and broke Thompson’s serve twice to claim the opening set in convincing fashion.

The world number two saved a set point on his serve while trailing 5-6 in the second, winning a 26-shot rally which ended with a backhand error from Thompson.

“He started to serve well in the second set. I missed a couple of returns I shouldn’t have,” Nadal said. “I suffered until the end but I found a way to win the tiebreak.”

Nadal, who has now reached the quarterfinals in all eight appearances at the indoor tournament, will next face fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

Earlier, sixth seed Diego Schwartzman eased past Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1 6-1 and is now one victory away from qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals for the first time in his career.

World number nine Schwartzman occupies the final automatic qualification spot for the season finale at London’s O2 Arena from Nov. 15-22.

The Argentine will next face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, who came back from a set down to beat Australia’s Alex de Minaur 5-7 6-2 6-2 in just under two hours.

“I watched his match and Diego played really well,” Medvedev said of Schwartzman, who has finished runner-up at three ATP tournaments this season.

“I think he made five unforced errors and was returning a lot of balls in the court. He served pretty well and it will be a really tough match, because he has been on fire this year.”

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