Paris, Nov 2 (EFE).- Spain’s world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz went through to the Paris Masters’ round of 16 on Wednesday, while two other favorites were eliminated – compatriot Rafael Nadal (world no. 2) and Russia’s Daniil Medvedev (No. 3).
The intense day in Bercy also allocated the final two tickets into the Turin ATP finals to Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and Russian Andrey Rublev, who will join Alcaraz, Nadal, Medvedev, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic.
Alcaraz defeated Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka (No. 38) with a double 6-4 in 73 minutes and further distanced himself from pursuer Nadal, who was defeated by American Tommy Paul (No. 31).
Alcaraz took on the seasoned Nishioka, against whom he was solid on serve and from the back of the court, despite problems in his wrapped left knee.
The 19-year-old Spanish prodigy will face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the round of 16 on Thursday.
The youngest tennis player to be ATP No. 1 will finish the Bercy tournament at the top of the classification no matter what happens due to the stumble of Nadal.
The Spanish legend’s knockout at the stroke of midnight was the news of the day in Paris. After winning the first set, he fell to Paul in about two and a half hours, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1.
Nadal arrived with psychological and physical challenges: he was a first-time father on Oct. 8 and had not competed in singles since he fell in the round of 16 at the US Open two months ago against another American, Frances Tiafoe.
Nadal leaves the Paris tournament with a bitter taste. Although he’s won 14 Roland Garros French Opens, this indoor masters is one of the few titles missing from his illustrious resume. A final against Argentinian David Nalbandian in 2007 was his best result.
Meanwhile, Medvedev – winner at Bercy in 2020 and finalist in 2021 – was another surprise. He was defeated by Australian Alex de Minaur (No. 25) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 in two hours, 47 minutes. De Minaur will face Tiafoe (No. 21) in the round of 16.
Greece’s Tsitsipas, fifth in the ATP rankings, beat Briton Daniel Evans (No. 27) 6-3 and 6-4 and will challenge local Corentin Moutet (No. 64) in the round of 16. Corentin defeated Britain’s Cameron Norrie (No. 13) 6-3, 5-7 and 7-6 (3).
One of the fittest tennis players of the moment, Auger-Aliassime, also went through to the second round, beating the Swede Mikael Ymer in three sets.
Auger-Aliassime will next face French veteran Gilles Simon, who beat American Taylor Fritz.
Spain’s Pablo Carreño (No. 14) beat Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in three sets and will now face Paul, the executioner of fellow Spaniards Nadal and Roberto Bautista.
Also on Thursday, current Paris Masters champion Djokovic will face 2018 champion, Russia’s Karen Khachanov. EFE