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Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic Advance At Paris Masters, London ATP Tour Final Contenders Fall

By Ricky Dimon

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic won their opening matches at the BNP Paribas Masters in straight sets on Wednesday. Nadal defeated Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-4, while Djokovic scraped past Corentin Moutet 7-6(2), 6-4.

“(It was) not easy to come back…after a while without being on the tour,” said Nadal, who was playing in an official tournament for the first time since winning the U.S. Open. “And playing on this surface… and against a very dangerous opponent in the first round for me, second for him…. So (I’ m) very happy with the victory.

“I know how dangerous Adrian is on this court. The court here is fast, the bounce is low, so I think is a perfect court for him. I went on court knowing it (was) going to be very tough one. I needed to play well and I think I did. My serve worked very well during the whole match. I think I played at the right level.”

Most of the remaining contenders for a Nitto ATP Finals spot did not fare as well as Nadal and Djokovic. Roberto Bautista Agut, Diego Schwartzman, David Goffin, John Isner, Fabio Fognini, and John Isner all saw their London hopes mathematically come to an end. Bautista Agut had a very realistic chance of qualifying, while the others were longshots. Matteo Berrettini also lost on Wednesday, but he remains in the No. 8 spot.

Gael Monfils, Stan Wawrinka, and Alex de Minaur are still alive following their second-round victories. De Minaur, who would have been eliminated if Berrettini had defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, must win the entire tournament. Wawrinka would also have to lift the trophy in order to make a return trip to the O2 Arena. Monfils can qualify with a semifinal performance in Paris.

Novak Djokovic…..bye…..d. Moutet
Kyle Edmund…..d. Berankis…..d. Schwartzman

Stefanos Tsitsipas…..bye…..d. Fritz
Alex de Minaur…..d. Djere…..d. Bautista Agut

Jeremy Chardy…..d. Sam Querrey…..d. Medvedev
Christian Garin…..d. Cuevas…..d. Isner

Grigor Dimitrov…..d. Humbert…..d. Goffin
Dominic Thiem…..bye…..d. Raonic

Alexander Zverev…..bye…..d. Verdasco
Denis Shapovalov…..d. Simon…..d. Fognini

Gael Monfils…..bye…..d. Paire
Radu Albot…..d. Basilashvili…..d. Seppi

Jan-Lennard Struff…..d. Nishioka…..d. Khachanov
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga…..d. Rublev…..d. Berrettini

Stan Wawrinka…..bye…..d. Cilic
Rafael Nadal…..bye…..d. Mannarino

1. Novak Djokovic: vs. Edmund in R3
2. Rafael Nadal: vs. Wawrinka in R3
3. Roger Federer: withdrew
4. Daniil Medvedev: l. to Chardy in R2
5. Dominic Thiem: vs. Dimitrov in R3
6. Alexander Zverev: vs. Shapovalov in R3
7. Stefanos Tsitsipas: vs. de Minaur in R3
8. Karen Khachanov: l. to Struff in R2
9. Roberto Bautista Agut: l. to de Minaur in R2
10. Matteo Berrettini: l. to Tsonga in R2
11. Fabio Fognini: l. to Shapovalov in R2
12. David Goffin: l. to Dimitrov in R2
13. Gael Monfils: vs. Albot in R3
14. Diego Schwartzman: l. to Edmund in R2
15. John Isner: l. to Garin in R2
16. Stan Wawrinka: vs. Nadal in R3

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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