It was an eventful day at the Paris Masters on Wednesday. The ATP Finals field was set and the tournament got hit by a slew of upsets.
Rafael Nadal’s pursuit of a first indoor title in Paris will have to wait another year as American Tommy Paul knocked out the former No. 1 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1.
Paul was up an early break to start the match before Nadal pulled away and looked in control. Paul would again threaten in the second getting back on serve before winning the breaker, then breaking early in the third en route to his biggest career win.
“It’s probably my best win,” Paul said after. “I was obviously pumped for the matchup because it’s always interesting when you play one of the Big Three. I’ve only played him the second time, but the first time I was so nervous. It was weird, this time I wasn’t really nervous. I was pretty relaxed going onto the court and the day before. I think that played a role. I came out playing pretty well. He got the first set, but I feel like I played pretty well from the jump.”
Playing his first singles match since the US Open and first match as a father, Nadal was upbeat despite missing a chance to return to No. 1 this week.
“A lot of things going on the last couple of months, without a doubt,” said Nadal. “But we are always ready to find excuses, but at the end, it’s always the same. You play well, you win, you don’t, you lose. And today for moments, putting everything in a pack, I was playing quite well.”
Nadal wasn’t the only Slam winner ousted. Former champion Daniil Medvedev fell to Alex De Minaur 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
The Race for Turin is over after Taylor Fritz and Hubert Hurkacz both lost. Fritz fell to Gilles Simon is just over three hours as the Frenchman held off retirement for another day with a thrilling 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 win in front of his home fans.
Hurkacz was upset by the red-hot Holger Rune 7-5, 6-1. The 19-year-old Rune has now won 15 of his last 17 matches.
But no one has been hotter than Felix Auger Aliassime and today the Canadian held on to win his 14th straight match in a nailbiter 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-6(6) to win his 14th straight match.
“Somehow I found a second wind after saving those break points at 4-1,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I played better and better, coming through the court much better, serving better. It was pretty epic. Three hours and 30 minutes on the court, quality rallies. He was making me work all the time. Definitely a win to remember.”
Auger-Aliassime will now meet Simon tomorrow. But more importantly, the Fritz and Hurkacz losses assured the Canadian and Andrey Rublev of the last two spots in Turin.
Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Grigor Dimitrov and Frances Tiafoe were also winners. Tomorrow, Alcaraz returns to face Dimitrov.
Also, Novak Djokovic continues his title defense against Karen Khachanov and Casper Ruud takes on Lorenzo Musetti.
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