Alexander Zverev polished his career record over Adrian Mannarino to a perfect 5-0 as he beat the Frenchman for the third time this season to move to the quarter-fials of the Paris Masters on Thursday.
The German fourth seed worked for three hours before emerging with a 7-6(11), (7)6-7, 6-4 victory.
He will play on Friday night for a semi-final spot at the Bercy arena against three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, who fought back to overhaul Andrey Rublev, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The loss was a minor ding for Rublev, winner of three titles over the last six weeks and qualified into the ATP Finals in London.
Zverev said he had to work against Mannarino: “Every time I play Adrian it’s a very difficult match.
“We played the US Open and we played in Cologne, we played here – all of them went the distance.
“I knew it was going to be difficult. I knew he’s a great player; on a faster surface like here he’s very difficult to beat.
“I knew I had to stay in there for the whole match.”
Zverev, winner of two titles this season, won his 25th match of 2020, firing 19 acres and breaking serve three times.
Mannarino had his chances in the tight opening set but failed to convert on three set points in the tiebreaker; it still took Zverev five set points to take the lead.
The 23-year-old German failed to wrap up a straight-sets win, missing on a match point while leading 7-6 in the second-set decider to throw the contest into a final set.
One break in the ninth game decided it as Zverev escaped with the victory.
“Every time I was a little bit in front in the score, I kind of lost my concentration,” Mannarino said. “I was thinking a bit too much about what I have been missing in the first set instead of being in the moment.
“I was always waiting for the moment to have my back to the wall to keep my concentration pretty high.
“I don’t know if I was tired or just frustrated about the result of the first set, but my concentration was not that good today.”