PARIS — Novak Djokovic was on the brink of becoming the latest upset victim at the Paris Masters. Instead, he battled back from a set down to defeat Tallon Griekspoor and advance to his ninth straight quarter-final at the event.
The Serbian won the final eight points of the match to escape with a 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 victory, extending his winning streak to 15 matches and tightening his grip on the No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Ranking.
He now leads Carlos Alcaraz — who was upset by Roman Safiullin in his Paris opener — by 670 points in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, which serves as a barometer in the battle for year-end No. 1.
Djokovic also remained on course for his record-extending seventh Paris singles title by reaching his 11th quarter-final at the ATP Masters 1000. It’s the Serbian’s 10th quarter-final in 11 events this season, the lone exception a third-round exit in Monte-Carlo.
Griekspoor provided a stern test behind a brilliant serving performance, and stunned the World No. 1 by winning five straight games — including a run of 10 consecutive points — to snatch the opening set from 1-4.
Finding joy with his loopy forehand swing, the Dutch No. 1 then created three break points in the second set as he pressed home his advantage.
Italian Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the Paris Masters, with the fourth seed saying he had to make the right decision for health reasons.
Sinner’s clash with Mackenzie McDonald did not start until after midnight and his 6-7(6) 7-5 6-1 win ended at 2:37 a.m., with his third-round match against Alex de Minaur scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
“I am sorry to announce that I am withdrawing,” Sinner said on social media platform X.
“I finished the match when it was almost three in the morning and didn’t go to bed until a few hours later. I had less than 12 hours rest to prepare for the next game.”
Sinner has qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin which begin on Nov. 12. Australian De Minaur will now face Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals.
“I have to make the right decision for my health and my body,” Sinner added according to Reuters.
“The weeks ahead with the ATP Finals at home and the Davis Cup will be very important, now I focus on preparing for these important events. See you in Turin.”
After the late-night win over McDonald, Sinner had hinted at his withdrawal, saying he would decide when he woke up.
Before Sinner’s withdrawal was announced Norwegian Casper Ruud defended the Italian.
Sinner made history last Saturday when he became the first Italian man in the Open Era (since 1968) to earn 55 wins in a season, reaching the Erste Bank Open final in the process.
The 22-year-old overcame Andrey Rublev 7-5, 7-6(5) in Vienna to notch his 55th victory of 2023, surpassing Corrado Barazzutti’s 54 mark in 1978.
Sinner played front-foot tennis throughout the one-hour, 52-minute clash against Rublev. He struck 26 winners, including 10 aces, and recovered from failing to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set by raising his depth and power in the tie-break.
With his win, Sinner improved to 4-2 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series, while he ended Rublev’s 100 per cent record in tour-level semi-finals in 2023. The third seed was 6-0 before facing Sinner.
“The @atptour has never cared about the players. In 2018 I finished a 3h battle at 12:45am & was scheduled to play at 1pm next day. Not joking,” Canadian Vasek Pospisil wrote on X.
the Professional Tennis Players Association with world number one Novak Djokovic.
“All they could say was ‘this is within the rules’,” he added. “The next day I herniated my disc after 4 games, had surgery and was out for 9 months.”
The US Open has no plans to change its schedule.
“We looked at starting the evening session earlier, instead of 7 p.m. start at 6 p.m., but it’s not really a possibility because it’s hard for New Yorkers to get here even at 7 p.m.,” tournament director Stacey Allaster said