Novak Djokovic didn’t have to hit a ball Thursday at the Paris Indoors Masters. The 5-time champion got a walkover from home favorite Gael Monfils who withdrew before the match due an adductor injury suffered yesterday.
Djokovic, who remains 17-0 against the Frenchman, moves on to meet the surging American Taylor Fritz. Fritz toppled Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie 6-3, 7-6(3).
“I played incredibly well, and just a lot of pressure situations I kind of got through,” said Fritz. “Lots of 15-30s on my serve, 30-Alls. He’s in so many games, and he really makes you come up with a lot. Fortunately for me, I was playing well and I came up with the shots I needed to kind of keep myself in the match.”
Norrie misses a chance at year-end finals in Turin.
Making an appearance in Italy will be Casper Ruud who becomes the first Norwegian to qualifying for the event. Today, Ruud reached the quarters ousting American qualifier Marcos Giron 6-1, 6-2. It’s his fifth Masters quarterfinal of the season.
“It’s been an unbelievable year that will have the perfect end to the season,” said Ruud. “It’s been a stressful couple of weeks and months, because it’s been such a tight Race. It’s been fun at the same time, so exciting to watch as a tennis fan.”
On Friday, the 21-year-old Ruud will take on No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev. The German has now won 27 of his last 29 matches after holding off Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-3. Zverev held match points in the second but finally got the job done in three over the improving Dimitrov.
“Incredible match,” Zverev said. “Grigor is playing very high-level tennis and I had to leave everything out there. I think it was a very high-level match and it could have gone both ways, especially the third set. I am happy with how things went in the end.”
Daniil Medvedev kept pace in the No. 1 hunt with Djokovic with a comeback win over Sebastian Korda 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
“Physically the match was hard both of us,” Medvedev said. “Indoor tennis is demanding. That’s how I feel at the moment. I should have won the 1st set, I had my occasions and he played quite good.”
The defending champion will battle Frenchman Hugo Gaston who pulled off a late-night upset over Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 7-5.
Hubert Hurkacz improved his Turin chances with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Dominik Koepfer. Hell take on James Duckworth tomorrow. Duckworth eliminated his countryman Alexei Popyrin 7-6(6), 6-4.
PARIS INDOORS FRIDAY SCHEDULE
Court Central Starts At 2:00 Pm
QF James Duckworth v 7 Hubert Hurkacz
QF 1 Novak Djokovic v Taylor Fritz
Not Before 7:30 Pm
QF (Q) Hugo Gaston v 2 Daniil Medvedev
QF 6 Casper Ruud v 4 Alexander Zverev
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