Rafael Nadal defeated French wildcard Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets to enter the semi-finals of the ongoing Paris Masters on Friday. Nadal won 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 and will next face Denis Shapovalov on Saturday.
Earlier, Novak Djokovic also eased into the last-four stage with a facile 6-1, 6-2 win over Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The victories have set the stage for a possible final showdown between the two multiple Grand Slam titles winners.
This is Nadal’s first ever semi-final appearance at the event since 2013 and he will overtake Djokovic as world’s top-ranked male tennis player if he wins the final in Paris come Sunday. I’ve had a lot of injuries in this tournament (historically). I’m happy to be back in the semi-finals,” the 33-year-old Nadal said after the match.
Djokovic took just 58 minutes to deal with Tsitsipas, calling it as one of his ‘best matches of the season.’
I played one of the best matches of the season. I prepared myself very well for this match. I lost to Stefanos about three weeks ago in Shanghai. And obviously I went through the videos and understanding on what I did well, what I didn’t do so well, what I can do better,” Djokovic said.
Shapovalov cruised into the semi-final sailing past Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-2 while Djokovic’s next opponent Grigor Dimitrov dispatched unseeded Chilean Cristian Garin 6-2, 7-5.
In their nine meetings, the 32-year-old Djokovic has win eight times and lost just once.