Nadal on track for elusive Paris Masters title
By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal broke the stubborn resistance of Poland's Jerzy Janowicz's to win 7-5 6-4 and reach the last eight of the Paris Masters on Thursday.
In the semi-finals of the Paris event - one of only three Masters titles the Spaniard has yet to win - Nadal faces local favorite Richard Gasquet who, along with Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, have completed the ATP World Tour finals lineup.
Both players won their third-round matches at Bercy but it was Canadian Milos Raonic's defeat by Tomas Berdych that sent them into next week's season-ending showdown in London.
They join Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro, Berdych and Roger Federer in next week's showpiece. All eight reached the Paris Masters quarter-finals on Friday.
World number two Djokovic and 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer, who is ranked sixth, also advanced.
Nadal, who has yet to win the Miami and Shanghai Masters either, broke decisively in the 11th game of the opening set and, after an early trade of breaks in the second, got the upper hand when he took Janowicz's serve again in the fifth game.
The Pole, who broke into the limelight by reaching last year's final at Bercy where he lost to Ferrer, contained his frustration but Nadal's top spin was eventually too much to handle.
Djokovic dispensed with his Darth Vader mask and proved too strong for American John Isner in a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-2 victory. Continued...