Alcaraz, Djokovic Roll Into Paris Masters QFs; Simon Ends Career
Novak Djokovic continued a strong return to the Paris Masters cruising past Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-1. The 7-time champion has now won his last 12 matches.
“Khachanov is someone I know really well,” said Djokovic. “We train a lot, and we played almost 10 times against each other on different surfaces… He beat me four years ago in the final, so I know he likes this surface, he likes these conditions.
“The first was quite even, I had my chances, he had a break, and he was hanging on and I broke his serve in the 10th game of the first set and I think after that the momentum shifted. In the second set I was a different player. I think I stepped it up even more, served better, and I’m just really pleased with the way I finished.”
Next for Novak is Lorenzo Musetti who reached the quarters pulling off the upset of the day down Casper Ruud 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
“He’s so talented, he’s got everything in his game. He can play in the court, he can defend well, he’s got great movement, but I know his game well and I’m looking forward to a good challenge,” Djokovic said of Musetti.
World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz had no issues hammering Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 6-3. In an all teen battle tomorrow, Alcaraz will take on Holger Rune. Rune knocked out Andrey Rublev 6-4, 7-5. The Dane has now won 16 of his last 18 matches.
“I started playing pretty well,” said Alcaraz. “At the end of the second set, it was tougher for me, he came back, he raised the level and obviously it was tough. He had the chance to go up in the second set, I had to stay calm in that moment and show my best to not allow him to go up.”
After stirring wins over Andy Murray and Taylor Fritz, Gilles Simon had little left for the streaking Felix Auger-Aliassime who ended the Frenchman’s career with a 6-1, 6-3 victory.
“I just feel so lucky to have been a tennis player. It’s what I have always wanted to be,” Simon said. “I was a professional tennis player for a long time, and that’s why I was lucky twice and I could stop when I wanted, and so I have been lucky three times.”
Auger-Aliassime will now face Frances Tiafoe who ousted Alex De Minaur.
Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced past qualifier Corentin Moutet 6-3, 7-6(3). Tommy Paul will be next for the Greek.
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