PARIS: Argentine Juan Martin del Potro moved a step closer to qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals when he reached the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters with a 7-5 6-4 win against Robin Haase yesterday.
The 13th seed converted all his break points against the Dutchman, who eliminated fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the previous round, to set up a meeting with John Isner.
Del Potro is hoping to keep up his recent run, when he has contested two finals and a semi-final in his last three tournaments, as he bids to secure one of the two remaining spots for the season finale in London.
The Argentine, playing in Bercy for the first time since 2013, needs to reach the semi-finals in Paris to book a ticket for the Nov. 12-19 ATP Finals.
“It’s extra motivation to me,” said Del Potro. “It’s going to be a good battle next round trying to qualify for London. Of course, I would love to reach London once again. It could be a fantastic moment for me. But it’s still a really hard challenge to me.”
World number one Rafael Nadal, chasing his maiden title in Paris, was scheduled to take on Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas later last night.
As the season winds to a close, fatigue continued to take its toll as fifth seed Dominic Thiem and sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov were both knocked out in the third round.
Austrian Thiem lost 6-4 6-4 to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco while Bulgarian Dimitrov fell 7-6(10) 5-7 7-6(3) to American John Isner.
Three weeks before France take on Belgium in the Davis Cup final, local favourite Julien Benneteau beat world number 10 David Goffin 6-3 6-3 to secure a place in the last eight.