Canada's Milos Raonic through to quarterfinals at Paris Masters

·3 min read

PARIS — Canada's Milos Raonic advanced to the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters tennis tournament with a 7-6 (1), 6-2 win over American qualifier Marcos Giron on Thursday.

The big server from Thornhill, Ont., had 17 aces in the match that took just under one hour 22 minutes to complete.

Raonic, seeded 10th in Paris, did not face break point and broke Giron twice on seven chances.

Both players were accurate with 64 per cent of their first serves, but Raonic won 88 per cent of first-serve points compared to 70 per cent for Giron. Raonic won an impressive 74 per cent of second-serve points, compared to 42 per cent for his opponent.

Raonic, ranked 17th in the world, improved to 2-0 against No. 91 Giron.

The 29-year-old Raonic, a finalist at the indoor hardcourt event in 2014, next faces France's Ugo Humbert, who defeated former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 to continue his strong form.

Humbert knocked out French Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round, and took his second title of the year two weeks ago at the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium.

It will be the first meeting between Raonic and Humbert.

Also Thursday, top-seeded Rafael Nadal stayed on course for an elusive first Paris Masters title after beating Jordan Thompson 6-1, 7-6 (3) to reach the quarterfinals.

Nadal has won 86 career titles, including 35 in Masters events, but lost his only final at the Bercy Indoor Arena in Paris 13 years ago.

Thompson found his range in the second set, hitting a couple of big winners down the line and forcing a set point with Nadal serving at 6-5. After a decent second serve, Nadal saved it after a long rally.

Thompson threw his racket onto the ground in frustration after losing the next point and Nadal's sharp backhand volley at the net took it into a tiebreaker.

The unseeded Australian saved one match point with his third ace of the tiebreaker, but on the next opportunity Nadal pushed his opponent to the back of the court and Thompson's forehand sank into the net.

Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam champion who on Wednesday became only the fourth man to reach 1,000 match wins, next faces Spanish countryman Pablo Carreno Busta.

Earlier, third-seeded Daniil Medvedev overcame a first-set blip where he conceded 11 straight points before rallying to beat 16th-seeded Alex de Minaur 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.

The strong-serving Russian concluded with a 13th ace and next plays No. 6 Diego Schwartzman, the French Open semifinalist who routed qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1, 6-1 to take a step closer to reaching the season-ending ATP Finals for the first time.

“Diego is playing amazing at this moment,” Medvedev said. “His results are unbelievable.”

Schwartzman would qualify for the Nov. 15-22 tournament in London if he beats Medvedev.

Carreno Busta, who is challenging Schwartzman for a place at The O2 arena in London, won 7-5, 6-2 against unseeded Norbert Gombos.

Later Thursday, No. 4 Alexander Zverev played Adrian Mannarino and No. 12 Stan Wawrinka faced No. 5 Andrey Rublev.

— With files from The Associated Press.

The Canadian Press