Djokovic and Murray win, Cilic books London spot

Thu Nov 3, 2016 7:27pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic recovered from a slow start as he continued the bid to retain his world number one ranking with a 4-6 6-2 6-3 win over 14th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the Paris Masters third round on Thursday.

The Serb, needing to reach the final to stay ahead of Andy Murray at the top of the rankings, set up a quarter-final clash with Croat Marin Cilic who clinched one of the two remaining spots for the ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-3 7-6 (9) win over Belgian David Goffin.

"(Cilic) is in great form. He has a big serve that he relies on a lot. He's a big guy but he uses the court very well," Djokovic told a news conference.

"He's quite aggressive. Every short ball he's stepping in. He plays quite flat. He loves, I guess, these kind of very quick conditions."

Murray advanced in much easier fashion by demolishing France's Lucas Pouille 6-3 6-0. The Scot next plays Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych who ousted Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-4 6-3.

"I thought I returned well today. I had chances in almost all of his service games throughout the match," said Murray.

"On this surface, when it's a bit quicker, that's good. If you can get a lot of returns back in play, it puts pressure on the server."

Holder Djokovic, seeking a fifth title here, produced an under-par display. He had treatment on a knee problem in the second set but eventually subdued Dimitrov who grew frustrated as the match went on.   Continued...

Tennis - Paris Masters tennis tournament third round - Novak Djokovic of Serbia v Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria - Paris, France - 3/11/2016 - Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes