PARIS (NWN) — Defending champion Daniil Medvedev remained in contention for the year-end No. 1 ranking after beating Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday.
The second-seeded Russian lost three set points 5-1 in the first set and then allowed Ivashka to rally 5-5. However, Ivashka then left the serve with a double-fault and three unforced errors, and Medvedev captured the set with a backhand volley.
The US Open champion broke through for a 2–1 lead in the second, but then hit a double-fault on her first two match points, before converting the third when Ivashka sent a forehand wide.
Novak Djokovic, who is also playing in Paris, has an 800-point lead over Medvedev in the rankings and could be ranked No. 1 this weekend based on their respective results.
Earlier, injured Stefanos Tsitsipas retired from the second round match after going 4-2 down to Australian rival Alexei Popirin.
The third-seeded Greek was leading the ATP Tour this year with 55 wins and playing his 73rd singles match. However, his form has declined since reaching the final of the French Open, after losing in the third round of the US Open in September and the second in Vienna last week.
“I haven’t retired once in my life, and it was something I had to do today,” Tsitsipas said. “Also I’m trying to stay alert for the next tournament, which is the most important thing for me.”
Citipas have qualified for the season-ending ATP Finals, an eight-man tournament that begins on November 14. He declined to say what was bothering him on Wednesday but he grabbed his right hand several times during the match.
“I’ve been facing a problem there for quite some time,” Tsitsipas said. “It’s gotten bigger in the last few weeks, so I’m trying to protect it. I felt pain while playing in the match, and I don’t want it to get worse than it is now.”
Americans Taylor Fritz, Marcos Giron and Sebastian Korda made some upsets in the second round. Fritz defeated fifth seed Andre Rublev 7-5, 7-6(2), qualifier Giron defeated 11th seed Diego Schwartzman 7-6(2), 7-6(4) and Korda defeated St. Petersburg Open champion Marin defeated Cilic 6-2, 6-4.
Fritz converted the only break point he earned in the final game of the first set and then saved the only break point he faced 1-1 in the second.
Ranked 26th in the world, Fritz has been playing well in recent weeks. He defeated Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals at Indian Wells last month and reached the final of the St Petersburg Open last week. Rublev defeated Fritz 6-3, 6-1 in Dubai earlier this year.
Felix Auger-Aliasime and Pablo Carreo Busta were both out of contention for the ATP Finals after losing in the second round, but seventh-seeded Hubert Herkás and 10th-seeded Cameron Nouri remained in the running with wins.
Ninth-seeded Auger-Aliassim lost to Dominic Koefer 6-3, 7-5, while 12th-seeded Carreo Busta was beaten 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5 by French qualifier Hugo Gaston.
Koefer, who saved seven match points against Andy Murray in the previous round, broke Auger-Aliasim twice in each set, winning seven games in a row to take a 3–0 lead in the second.
“Very disappointing. I should have done much better,” Auger-Aliasim said. “He played great, but I fought against myself sometimes.”
Harkaz defeated American qualifier Tommy Paul 7-5, 7-6(4) while Nori beat Toronto runner-up Reilly Opelka 6-3, 6-4. Hárkaz overtook Janik Sinar in the race to Turin, virtually taking last place for the ATP Finals.
Also on Wednesday, fourth seed Zverev defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 7-6 (5). The Olympic champion needed a medical timeout in the opening set 3-2 to be treated for a neck strain.
16th seed Grigor Dimitrov beat 2018 Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-2, 6-0, Carlos Alcaraz defeated Sinar 7-6(1), 7-5, James Duckworth defeated Lorenzo Musetti. 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and 15th seed Gael Monfils of France defeated Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 to face Djokovic next.
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