PARIS, Nov 1: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer reached the Paris Masters quarter-finals on Thursday as the last-eight line-up mirrored the same men heading to London next week for the World Tour Finals.
World number one Nadal made the ATP points system look true to form after his 7-5, 6-4 victory over last year’s runner-up Jerzy Janowicz completed the line-up in the last match of the day.
The Spaniard, who is also looking for a record sixth Masters title in the same season, joins Djokovic, David Ferrer, Juan Martin Del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet in the Paris quarter-finals and in the London shake-up.
Wawrinka and Gasquet claimed the final two World Tour Finals places after Canadian Milos Raonic saw his chances go up in smoke in a tough defeat at the hands of Berdych.
Nadal endured a ferocious serving onslaught from Wimbledon semi-finalist Janowicz before finally taming the 22-year-old, who was trying to become the first Polish player since Wojtek Fibak in 1980 to break into the year-ending top 20.
A first set of the highest quality swung at 5-5 with Janowicz serving and a game of numerous deuces that finally went Nadal’s way for the first break of the match.
The Mallorca left-hander then held to close out the set after solving the Pole’s thunderbolt serve and paving the way for a straight sets victory.
Second seed Djokovic overcame American John Isner 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2 while Federer, the fifth seed, outclassed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, 6-3, 6-4.
Swiss seventh seed Wawrinka beat Spain’s Nicolas Almagro, 6-3, 6-2, and his place in the London field was later secured when Czech sixth seed Berdych defeated Raonic, 7-6 (15/13), 6-4.
Raonic’s defeat also meant Gasquet was assured of the last available London place even before the Frenchman had defeated Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2.
It will be Gasquet’s second appearance at the World Tour Finals after his maiden appearance in 2007.
Djokovic, who won in Paris in 2009 and is chasing a 40th ATP title and also the world number one spot, next meets Wawrinka, whom he defeated in epic five-set marathons at the Australian Open and US Open this year.
Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam title winner, celebrated his place at the Finals in London with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Kohlschreiber.
He now meets Argentine Del Potro who defeated rising Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a high quality match on court one.
On Del Potro, against whom he lost in the Basel final last weekend, the 32-year-old Federer said: “It’s an important match for both of us and also looking ahead to London where we could meet. It could give one of us an advantage for London so it’s a key match.
Ferrer, the third-seeded defending champion, showed little mercy against Frenchman Gilles Simon.
His 6-2, 6-3 win allowed him to stay in the hunt for a third ATP title this season following Auckland and Buenos Aires.
His title defence continues on Friday with a last-eight tie against sixth seed Berdych.
Third round: Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Jerzy Janowicz (POL x14) 7-5, 6-4; Richard Gasquet (FRA x9) bt Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-3, 6-2; David Ferrer (ESP x3) bt Gilles Simon (FRA x15) 6-2, 6-3; Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) bt Milos Raonic (CAN x10) 7-6 (15/13), 6-4; Roger Federer (SUI x5) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-3, 6-4; Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x4) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x7) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP x12) 6-3, 6-2; Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) bt John Isner (USA x13) 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2.—AFP