One yr in the past, Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune met within the group stage of the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Subsequent Gen ATP Finals in Milan. Since then, each 19-year-olds have rocketed up the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Alcaraz rising to World No. 1 and Rune reaching a profession excessive of No. 18.
The long run has arrived, and followers on the Rolex Paris Masters will see it first-hand on Friday as Alcaraz and Rune sq. off for a second time within the quarter-finals.
The unseeded Rune — a finalist in every of his previous three occasions, together with a run to his second profession title in Stockholm — has had the more difficult path to the ultimate eight. He edged Stan Wawrinka in a third-set tie-break within the first spherical earlier than spectacular straight-sets wins in opposition to tenth seed Hubert Hurkacz and seventh seed Andrey Rublev. The Dane has gained 16 of his previous 18 matches, together with wins in opposition to Jannik Sinner and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Alcaraz has but to drop a set in Paris as he is rounded into type with wins in opposition to Yoshihito Nishioka and Grigor Dimitrov.
“I might say I performed higher,” he stated following a 6-1, 6-3 win in opposition to Dimitrov on Thursday. “I am extra used to enjoying right here on this courtroom, in these circumstances. I am proud of the efficiency, and naturally actually proud of be capable to play my first quarter-final right here in Bercy.”
The Spaniard reached the second spherical final yr on the ATP Masters 1000, whereas Rune is making his match debut.
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Additionally within the draw’s high half, Felix Auger-Aliassime will search to increase his 14-match win streak when he takes on US Open semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe, who has gained all six units he is performed this week. The Canadian is in search of his fourth straight title after triumphs in Florence, Antwerp and Basel.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic will look to remain excellent in opposition to #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti of their bottom-half matchup, with the Serbian 2-0 of their earlier ATP Head2Head conferences. Six-time Paris titlist Djokovic has progressed to the quarters with straight-sets wins in opposition to Maxime Cressy and Karen Khachanov, whereas Musetti upset third seed Casper Ruud 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to advance on Thursday.
Djokovic is using an 11-match win streak after titles in Tel Aviv and Astana, and has claimed 12 straight victories in Paris relationship again to his trophy runs in 2019 and 2021. The Serbian has additionally gained 19 of his previous 20 matches because the begin of Wimbledon – shedding solely to Auger-Aliassime on the Laver Cup — however is taking nothing with no consideration in opposition to Musetti.
“He’s positively a much-improved participant on [hard courts],” Djokovic stated of his 20-year-old opponent. “He has had some large wins this week, his first [hard-court] title a number of weeks in the past [in Naples].
“He’s so proficient, he’s bought the whole lot in his recreation. He can play within the courtroom, he can defend nicely, he’s bought nice motion, however I do know his recreation nicely and I’m trying ahead to an excellent problem.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Tommy Paul will contest the fourth quarter-final, with the American bidding to knock out a 3rd seeded opponent in succession. Paul knocked out a trio of Spaniards to succeed in the quarters, together with a comeback, three-set upset of second seed Rafael Nadal within the second spherical. He additionally blitzed previous Roberto Bautista Agut within the opening spherical and 14th seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Thursday.
The fifth-seeded Tsitsipas joins Djokovic, Alcaraz and Tiafoe with an undefeated set file on the week following wins in opposition to Daniel Evans and residential favorite Corentin Moutet. The Greek gained each prior conferences with Paul in straight units, in Washington, D.C., in 2019 and Lyon in 2021.
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