The world’s top-ranked tennis player, Novak Djokovic, displayed his resilience as he fought back to defeat Tallon Griekspoor with a score of 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 on Thursday, securing his spot in the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters.
Unlike his smooth performance in the second round, Djokovic appeared rusty in only his second singles match since participating in the Davis Cup six weeks ago. He struggled, losing a 4-1 lead in the first set and squandering three break opportunities early in the second.
The 24-time Grand Slam winner, however, managed a remarkable comeback. He convincingly won the tiebreak and clinched the decider, further advancing his quest for a record-extending seventh title in Paris. Djokovic commented on the challenging match, saying, “I ran out of steam; I’ve been struggling the last couple of days with my stomach; I didn’t feel myself at all on the court. It could’ve run easily on his way, but I played a good tiebreak and started to feel better in the third. I’m really happy I overcame this challenge.”
Meanwhile, fourth seed Jannik Sinner withdrew from the tournament due to health reasons, following his second-round match against Mackenzie McDonald, which ended at 2:37 a.m. on Thursday. His absence paved the way for Australia’s Alex de Minaur to face the in-form Andrey Rublev, the fifth-seed Russian, who secured his 20th Masters 1000 win of the season by defeating qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-3.
Seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas secured his place at the ATP Finals with a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over German 10th seed Alexander Zverev. The Greek player is set to face Karen Khachanov in the quarterfinals after the 16th seed from Russia defeated Roman Safiullin with a score of 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 defeating Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-3. He is now slated to meet Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the semi-finals after the Bulgarian routed Alexander Bublik 6-2, 6-2.
In the final match of the evening, defending champion and sixth seed Holger Rune secured a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 victory over Daniel Altmaier. The Dane is set to face Djokovic in a rematch of last year’s final.