Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Rafael Nadal won their quarter-finals at the Paris Masters in straight sets on Friday and were to play after press time last night for a shot at another meeting in a final.
Djokovic demolished seventh-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1, 6-2. It could have been even quicker after he led the first set 5-0, 40-0, but Tsitsipas saved three set points and held serve.
Nadal had a more demanding contest against 2008 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, with the first set tiebreak reaching 3-3 after Nadal double faulted.
However, when the veteran Spaniard broke the unseeded Frenchman at the start of the second, he took control in a 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 win.
“It was a tough first set, where I had to play at a very high level,” Nadal said after beating Tsonga for the 10th time in 14 meetings.
Nadal and Djokovic are vying for the year-end No. 1 ranking. Nadal will guarantee it for the fifth time if he wins the Paris Masters for the first time, while Djokovic is chasing a fifth title at Bercy Arena and a sixth year-end finish as No. 1.
In yesterday’s semi-finals, he faced Grigor Dimitrov, while Nadal was to play Denis Shapovalov.
Dimitrov reached his second semi-final this season by beating Cristian Garin 6-2, 7-5.
Shapovalov joked that Matteo Berrettini owed him a “bottle of wine” after his 6-2, 6-2 quarter-final victory over Gael Monfils, which ensured that the Italian claimed the last spot for the ATP Tour Finals.
The 20-year-old Canadian blew home favorite Monfils away with a blistering display to win in just 59 minutes.
The other beneficiary of his success was world No. 9 Berrettini, who was beaten in the second round by Tsonga this week, but still became the first Italian to reach the season-ending championship since Corrado Barazzutti in 1978.
“He better get me a bottle of wine or something, or a small gift,” Shapovalov said. “I’m really happy for Matteo and at the same time sad for Gael. They’re both unbelievable players and people… There’s nothing I can do.”
“I go on the court and try my best and I was able to play really good tennis, so yeah — really big congrats to Matteo for making it,” he said.
The Tour Finals start in London on Nov. 10.