Defending champion Daniil Medvedev stayed in contention for the year-end No. 1 ranking by defeating Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 7-5, 6-4 Wednesday in the second round of the Paris Masters.
The second-seeded Russian squandered three set points at 5-1 in the first set and then allowed Ivashka to rally for 5-5. However, Ivashka then dropped serve with a double-fault and three unforced errors and Medvedev clinched the set with a backhand volley.
The US Open champion broke for a 2-1 lead in the second but then hit double-faults on his first two match points before converting the third when Ivashka sent a forehand wide.
Novak Djokovic, who is also playing in Paris, has a lead of 800 points over Medvedev in the rankings and could clinch the year-end No. 1 this week depending on their respective results.
Earlier, an injured Stefanos Tsitsipas retired from his second-round match while trailing 4-2 against Australian opponent Alexei Popyrin.
The third-seeded Greek leads the ATP Tour with 55 wins this year and was playing his 73rd singles match. However, his form has declined since he reached the French Open final, losing in the third round of the US Open in September and in the second round in Vienna last week.
“I haven’t retired once in my life, and it was something that I had to do today,” Tsitsipas said. “Also I’m trying to be cautious for the next tournament, which is the most important one for me.”
Tsitsipas has qualified for the season-ending ATP Finals, an eight-man tournament that starts on Nov. 14. He declined to say what was bothering him on Wednesday but he clutched his right arm several times during the match.
“I have had an issue there for quite a while now,” Tsitsipas said. “It has gotten bigger in the last couple of weeks, so I’m just trying to protect it. I felt the pain playing in the match, and I just don’t want for it to get worse than it is now.”