Paris – Rafael Nadal eased past Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday to boost his hopes of claiming the year-end world number one ranking by reaching the Paris Masters quarter-finals.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion is already guaranteed to usurp Novak Djokovic at the rankings summit next week, but winning a maiden Bercy title would secure the year-end top spot.
Nadal will face French wildcard and 2008 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals on Friday after taking his impressive head-to-head record against three-time Grand Slam title-winner Wawrinka to 19-3.
Djokovic earlier booked his last-eight place with a 7-6 (9/7), 6-1 win over Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
Results from the fourth day of the ATP Paris Masters on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 7-6 (9/7), 6-1
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x7) bt Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3, 6-4
Cristian Garin (CHI) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) 6-3, 6-2
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) bt Alexander Zverev (GER x6) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)
Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Stan Wawrinka (SUI x16) 6-4, 6-4