PARIS, Nov 2: World No. 2 Rafael Nadal defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to progress to semifinals of the ongoing Paris Masters to inch closer to tournament victory as he needs to beat Novak Djokovic for the year-end world No. 1 ranking.
On Friday, the Spaniard defeated Tsonga 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 in the quarterfinals to set up a semifinal clash against Canadian rising star Denis Shapovalov, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Gael Monfils. It will be Nadal�s fourth appearance in the semis at an event he has never won.
Meanwhile, Djokovic continued with his prolific run as he needed just 58 minutes to demolish Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1, 6-2 in quarterfinal action.
The Serbian was battling illness in his victories over French lucky loser Corentin Moutet and the UK�s Kyle Edmund in the first two rounds of this ATP Masters 1000 tournament. However, there was no sign of those health problems against the rising Greek star.
�I played one of the best matches of the season. I prepared myself very well for this match,� Djokovic was quoted as saying afterward on the ATP Tour�s website. �I lost to Stefanos about three weeks ago in Shanghai. and obviously I went through the videos (to better) understand what I did well, what I didn�t do so well, what I can do better.�
The 32-year-old will fall to the second spot in the rankings on Monday behind Nadal, but the Serbian still has a chance to finish the year No. 1 for a record-tying sixth time. He will next take on Bulgaria�s Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the summit clash. � IANS