In his BNP Paris Masters 2013 opener, top seed Rafael Nadal overcame countryman Marcel Granollers in two closely-fought sets. Both Spaniards held smoothly enough in the first ten games of the second round clash before the World no. 1 put just enough pressure on the challenger to claim the crucial break. Even so, Granollers nearly forced a tie-break, but was denied his single break point chance and gave away the set as a result. The second set turned out to be a carbon-copy of the previous one with Nadal eventually serving it out with a hold to love and securing his last 16 ticket by winning 7-5, 7-5. He will square off against fourteenth seed Pole Jerzy Janowicz next.
Likewise, second seed Novak Djokovic started this year’s Paris campaign without dropping a set against 189th-ranked French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert. The 22-year-old local hope was only a point away from stunning the favorite in the opener as he squandered a couple of opportunities to wrap it up at 6-5, yet Nole kept his nerves and went one nil up after the tie-break. In the second set the Serb champion broke twice by 5-0 and while Herbert won three consecutive games in response, he could not prevent his esteemed rival completing an expected 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory. Djokovic is now meeting thirteenth-seeded John Isner of USA.
After losing the Basel title clash to Del Potro last week, fifth seed Roger Federer came back to winning ways by brushing aside Kevin Anderson of South Africa in Paris today. The Swiss Maestro broke his big-serving opponent three times in two sets to secure a 6-4, 6-4 triumph and finally land his spot at Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London which will be played next week. He will face unseeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber in third round.
Also through to the round of sixteen are reigning champion David Ferrer, seed number three, 7th-seeded Stan Wawrinka, 4th seed Juan Martin del Potro and 6th-seeded Tomas Berdych, whilst Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s dream to qualify for the London finals was crushed by Kei Nishikori who beat him in a three-set drama.