Paris Masters: del Potro wins again, closes in on London

Published by Matt Trollope

Juan Martin del Potro took his record against Dominic Thiem to 4-0; Getty Images
After David Goffin sealed the seventh spot at the ATP Finals in London, Juan Martin del Potro appears best placed to claim the eighth and final berth after another win in Paris.

With one place remaining to be filled at the ATP Finals in London, Juan Martin del Potro appears to be the best placed to clinch it.

The Argentine won his 20th match in his last 24 outings, this time thanks to a 7-5 6-4 win over Robin Haase to reach the Paris Masters quarterfinals.

On Thursday, Belgian David Goffin was the seventh player to qualify for the eight-man London field, despite a straight-sets loss to French wildcard Julien Benneteau in the third round in Paris.

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He confirmed his place when 17th seed Lucas Pouille fell to Jack Sock in the last 16.

“I would have preferred to have qualified by winning my match and Lucas is a friend but I am still so happy to have qualified,” Goffin said.

“It is every player’s dream to make the finals and it is my first time there so I can’t wait to get to London.”

Sock has a remote chance of qualifying for London; he must win the Paris title and hope fellow American John Isner beats del Potro in the quarterfinals.

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Isner set up his meeting with del Potro following an upset 7-6(10) 5-7 7-6(3) win over sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday.

But del Potro can ensure his qualification by beating Isner; that would knock Isner and Sock out of contention as well as push him ahead of the eighth-placed Pablo Carreno Busta in the live points race.

That was confirmed when another player still in the running, Roberto Bautista Agut, was eliminated from the tournament by third seed Marin Cilic late on Thursday night in Paris.

“It’s extra motivation to me,” del Potro said.

“It’s going to be a good battle next round trying to qualify for London. Of course, I would love to reach London for once again. It could be a fantastic moment for me. But it’s still a really hard challenge to me.”

In other results, world No.1 Rafael Nadal was stretched to three sets by Pablo Cuevas but sealed victory to set up a quarterfinal against qualifier Filip Krajinovic, who beat French wildcard Nicolas Mahut 6-2 3-6 6-1.

Fifth seed Dominic Thiem’s lean run continued after a straight-sets loss to Fernando Verdasco.

Thiem has not won back-to-back matches since the Davis Cup two months ago.

Verdasco will next meet Sock.

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