Top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia handled business with a 6-4, 6-3 quarterfinal win over American Taylor Fritz on Friday to reach the weekend at the Paris Masters.
The No. 1 player in the world will be joined in the semifinals by No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia, No. 4 Alexander Zverev of Germany and No. 7 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
Djokovic recorded eight aces and broke Fritz’s serve five times. He is shooting for a record 37th ATP Masters 1000 title and sixth Paris Masters crown after not competing since the U.S. Open.
“I knew that I needed to start well, with good intensity and put in a lot of hours on the practice court,” Djokovic said. “But it’s different when you play points in a competitive match.”
Djokovic and Medvedev could be on a collision course for the final, which would create a rematch of their U.S. Open final in September where Medvedev ended Djokovic’s quest for the calendar grand slam.
First, though, Djokovic will face Hurkacz in the semifinals. Hurkacz smashed 17 aces and outlasted Australian James Duckworth 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5 in two hours, 12 minutes.
Hurkacz’s win was enough to earn him the eighth and final berth to the ATP Finals later this month in Turin, Italy. Three of his four career ATP singles titles have come this year, including in Miami.
Medvedev beat French qualifier Hugo Gaston 7-6 (7), 6-4. Neither player took more than a one-point lead in the first-set tiebreak until Medvedev broke Gaston’s serve at 7-7 and won his third set point.
Earlier in the set, Medvedev fended off Gaston’s triple set point when the Frenchman led 5-4, 40-love, firing up the home crowd.
“When (the atmosphere) is against you, you need to face it,” said Medvedev, who fired 13 aces. “You need to try to win no matter what. Even when it is against me, I think, ‘Well, I will try to beat my opponent and the crowd’ because there is no other choice. I am kind of happy about myself, but it was definitely a high-level match.”
Zverev defeated No. 6 seed Casper Ruud of Norway 7-5, 6-4. Zverev secured 37 of his 43 first-service points (86 percent) and saved all three of his break points. Ruud, for his part, saved 8 of 10 break points.
–Field Level Media