Paris - World No 1 Rafael Nadal broke the stubborn resistance of Poland's Jerzy
Janowicz's to win 7-5 6-4 and reach the last eight of the Paris Masters
In the semi-finals of the Paris event - one of only three Masters titles
the Spaniard has yet to win - Nadal faces local favourite Richard
Gasquet who, along with Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, have completed the ATP
World Tour finals line-up.
Both players won their third-round matches at Bercy but it was Canadian
Milos Raonic's defeat by Tomas Berdych that sent them into next week's
season-ending showdown in London.
They join Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro,
Berdych and Roger Federer in next week's showpiece. All eight reached
the Paris Masters quarterfinals on Friday.
World No 2 Djokovic and 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer, who is ranked sixth, also advanced.
Nadal, who has yet to win the Miami and Shanghai Masters either, broke
decisively in the 11th game of the opening set and, after an early trade
of breaks in the second, got the upper hand when he took Janowicz's
serve again in the fifth game.
The Pole, who broke into the limelight by reaching last year's final at
Bercy where he lost to Ferrer, contained his frustration but Nadal's top
spin was eventually too much to handle.
Djokovic dispensed with his Darth Vader mask and proved too strong for American John Isner in a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-2 victory.
The Serbian, who entered the Bercy arena last year imitating the
infamous Star Wars villain, survived a barrage of aces from the towering
Isner before ruthlessly taking him apart.
"I know, I know. It's my fault. I was not prepared enough... so I'm
going to have to be pretending that I'm myself this year. No Darth
Vader," Djokovic, who watched nine aces fly by him in the opener, told a
Federer showed glimpses of his brilliant best as he outclassed German Philip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-4 to advance.
A day after securing his place at the World Tour finals, the Swiss won
comfortably to set up a clash with ArgentineJuan Martin del Potro, who
beat him in the Basle final last week.
"It wouldn't be nice to lose once more against him. If it happens I will
accept it, but if I win I will have something extra for London,"
Federer told a news conference.
"I have an idea of my tactics, my gameplan. Now it's important to be able to do it, actually do it on the court."
Compatriot Wawrinka and Gasquet qualified for London after Raonic, who
only had a slim chance of snatching one of the last two spots, lost
7-6(13) 6-4 to Czech sixth seed Berdych.
Seventh seed Wawrinka, Djokovic's next opponent, beat Spaniard Nicolas
Almagro 6-3 6-2 while Gasquet, who knew he had qualified for the London
event before his match, breezed past Japan's Kei Nishikori by the same
Wawrinka is eighth in the ATP Race to London with Gasquet in ninth spot.
The cut off point for qualification was lowered to ninth after British
world No 4 Andy Murray pulled out of the season finale because of lower
Results from the Paris Masters Series tournament on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Jerzy Janowicz (POL x14) 7-5, 6-4
Richard Gasquet (FRA x9) bt Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-3, 6-2
David Ferrer (ESP x3) bt Gilles Simon (FRA x15) 6-2, 6-3
Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) bt Milos Raonic (CAN x10) 7-6 (15/13), 6-4
Roger Federer (SUI x5) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-3, 6-4
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x4) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x7) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP x12) 6-3, 6-2
Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) bt John Isner (USA x13) 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2