Diego Schwartzman is on the verge of sealing an ATP Finals spot for the first time in his career.
The 28-year-old Argentine defeated Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1, 6-1 in an hour to enter the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters on Thursday. He now needs one win to secure his place in the season-ending ATP Finals, which will be held at London’s O2 Arena from November 15 to 22.
“I thought the match was going to be very tough, as we played just 10 days ago,” said Schwartzman, who had defeated Davidovich Fokina in the quarterfinals of the ATP event in Cologne two weeks ago.
“I did everything well today, serving and moving well. Tomorrow will be a different match against (Daniil) Medvedev or (Alex) De Minaur as they hit very flat and are very solid, they move well and have good defence. I am trying to do everything I can to be in London (at the ATP Finals).”
Schwartzman, who is ranked No 9 in the world, may also secure the last-remaining spot for London should Pablo Carreno Busta lose his third-round match in Paris later on Thursday.
He will play Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals on Friday.
The Argentine, who stand only at 5’7, is enjoying a breakthrough season in 2020. He reached his first major semi-final as he defeated US Open champion Dominic Thiem to make the final four of Roland Garros last month.
Having turned pro in 2010, Schwartzman also entered the top-10 in rankings for the first time this October when he rose to No 8 on the charts.
With the win over Davidovich Fokina Schwartzman improved to 25-11 match record for 2020.
He has reached three finals this season — at the Cordoba Open (lost to Cristian Garin) in February, his first ATP Masters 1000 title match at the Rome Masters (lost to Novak Djokovic) in September and the Cologne ATP (lost to Alexander Zverev) last month.