Djokovic edges Rune, Tsitsipas marches into Paris semi-finals

[04-11-2023 10:05 AM]

Ammon News - World number one Novak Djokovic stayed on course for a seventh Paris Masters title by beating Holger Rune in the quarter-finals on Friday, with the Dane still qualifying for a spot at the ATP Tour Finals after Andrey Rublev beat Alex de Minaur.

Djokovic was rock solid as he avenged his defeat by the tenacious youngster in last year's showpiece to win 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 and set up a semi-final against Russian fifth seed Rublev, who beat Australian De Minaur 4-6 6-3 6-1.

Victory for 20-year-old Rune would have sealed his place in Turin but he will still make his debut in the year-ender featuring the world's top eight players as De Minaur had to win the title to deny the Dane a place at the elite event.

Djokovic's victory means Germany's Alexander Zverev also qualifies for the ATP Tour Finals.

Rune delighted the Paris crowd with some stunning tennis and saved a match point at 4-5 in the second set before an inspired tiebreak took the match to a decider.

But Djokovic was unfazed and broke serve early in the third set, while Rune was not helped by a cut to his hand that required some lengthy patching up at a changeover.

The sixth seed could make no impression on the Djokovic serve in the decider as the top-ranked Serb clocked up a 16th successive win since losing in the Wimbledon final.

"It was quite a similar match to last year's final, it was anybody's game in every set." Djokovic said.

Earlier in Bercy, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas maintained his stunning form with a 6-3 6-4 defeat of Russia's Karen Khachanov to set up a semi-final against Grigor Dimitrov.

Tsitsipas, who a day earlier secured his place in Turin, was at his shot-making best to dominate the contest.

The seventh seed has yet to drop a set in disposing of Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime, Zverev and now Khachanov.

He had far too much variety for Khachanov in the opening set, using his all-court game and accurate serving to great effect. He then moved a break ahead in the second set before Khachanov hit a brief purple patch to get back on terms.

But Tsitsipas quickly regained control to sweep to the 300th professional win of his career, bringing up match point with a delightful drop shot that had the crowd in raptures.

"It's working well. It feels good to have so much variety and so much diversity in the way you can play," he said.

Dimitrov beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-1 4-6 6-4 to end the Pole's hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals.


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