Diego Schwartzman increased his chances of grabbing last spot at the ATP Finals as the Argentine beat Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-3 on Wednesday to reach the third round of the Paris Masters.
Argentina’s 1.70-metre Pocket Rocket spent 85 minutes in showing his French opponent the door in a Bercy arena devoid of crowds due to the COVID-19 crackdown and curfew.
Schwartzman is closing in on his place in the season wrapup; he needs a semi-final this week to secure his place for the first time.
“I have the chances in my hand, qualify to London. I’m trying to do my best,” he said.
“I’m feeling really, really good this week and (during) the weeks before. After Rome (semi-final plus quarter-final defeat of Rafael Nadal) I got a lot of confidence.
“I hope to be in London.”
The South American had lost all three of his previous encounters with Gasquet but turned the tables on the French player’s home ground to next line up against Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
“I have the confidence, I’ve been playing really, really well the last few weeks,” Schwartzman said. “Mixing it up helped me to win today.”
Schwartzman improved to 24-11 this interrupted season as he concentrates on the points race in the closing days of the ATP campaign.
Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev booked into the Paris third round when Kevin Anderson quit trailing 5-2 in the opening set tiebreaker with a right leg injury.
The 50-minute win meant immediate revenge for Medvedev, who lost to his South African opponent last Friday in the Vienna quarter-finals.
Canada’s 2014 finalist Milos Raonic produced a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Pierre-Hugues Herbert, while Adrian Mannarino earned a French victory as he defeated Yoshihito NIshioka 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3.