Rafael Nadal continued his quest for a maiden Paris Masters title with a no-nonsense 6-4 6-4 victory against old foe Stan Wawrinka to reach the quarter-finals on Thursday.
The Spaniard, who will take over as world number one from Novak Djokovic on Monday, converted two of his three break chances to claim his 19th win in 22 encounters against the Swiss.
The 19-time grand slam champion will next face local favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat German Jan-Lennard Sruff 2-6 6-4 7-6(6), making the most of his wildcard status in Paris.
The result ended Wawrinka’s hopes of qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals, leaving only Frenchman Gael Monfils and Italian Matteo Berrettini with a chance to grab the last of eight tickets for the Nov. 10-17 showdown.
Monfils, who takes on Moldovia’s Radu Albot later on Thursday, needs to reach the last four to leapfrog Berrettini in the race to London after the Italian was eliminated in the second round at Bercy.
Djokovic had to dig deep in the opening set as he reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(7) 6-1 win against Britain’s Kyle Edmund.