Alex de Minaur, of Australia, reacts as he plays Daniil Medvedev of Russia during the second round match of the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Accor Arena, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Auger-Aliassime, Rublev in ATP Finals as Fritz, Hurkacz lose

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Andrey Rublev qualified for the ATP Finals after Taylor Fritz and Hubert Hurkacz, the other contenders for the two remaining spots, lost in the second round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday.

The eighth-seeded Auger-Aliassime outlasted qualifier Mikael Ymer 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (6) to next play wild-card entry Gilles Simon, who overcame the ninth-seeded Fritz 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.

Auger-Aliassime saved 14 of 17 break points and converted four of five to extend his winning streak to 14 matches.

Fritz failed to convert three set points on Simon’s serve at 5-4 in the opening set. The American also failed to convert any of the three break points he had at 3-2 in the final set. He made 36 unforced errors to 16 for Simon, who is ranked 188th and plans to retire after this tournament.

Teenager Holger Rune stunned the 10th-seeded Hurkacz 7-5, 6-1 to meet Rublev, who reached the third round on Tuesday.

Before the Paris Masters, Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic had already qualified for the eight-man tournament in Turin from Nov. 13-20.

Alcaraz, Tsitsipas, Alex de Minaur and Lorenzo Musetti also advanced to the third round in Paris.

De Minaur upset fourth-seeded Medvedev 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 to next face Frances Tiafoe, who beat Jack Draper 6-3, 7-5.

De Minaur beat Medvedev for the first time in five meetings.

After rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the final set, De Minaur failed to convert his first two match points at 5-4. He hit a return out on the first match point and made an unforced error on the second.

But the Australian got two more chances at 6-5. Medvedev saved the third match point with a service winner before double-faulting on the fourth and angrily throwing his racket to the ground.

“I’m glad I played a very tactical match,” De Minaur told Tennis Channel. “I just tried to wait for my right ball and just back myself and back my volley. It’s something that I tried to implement a lot more. I don’t do it as often as I would like, but I’ve got some decent volleys.”

Medvedev, who won the Paris Masters in 2020 and was runner-up last year, dropped serve in the first set by overhitting a smash in the final game. But the Russian capitalized on unforced errors by De Minaur to break twice in the second set.

The top-seeded Alcaraz downed Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-4 to rack up more points in his chase for the year-end No. 1 ranking.

Alcaraz lost a break in the eighth game but hit a forehand pass on the run to break again for a 5-4 lead before grabbing the first set with a forehand winner.

The Spaniard whipped another forehand winner to take Nishioka’s serve at 4-4 in the second set.

Alcaraz hit 30 winners to 7 for the Japanese and will next play Grigor Dimitrov who dispatched lucky loser Fabio Fognini 6-0, 7-5.

The fifth-seeded Tsitsipas beat Daniel Evans 6-3, 6-4 to lead the ATP tour with 58 wins this year.

Tsitsipas raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set. He then hit a forehand winner across court to break Evans in the opening game of the second, before converting his first match point with an ace.

“I’m happy with the level of tennis I brought when I had to,” Tsitsipas said. “I was moving well, I was dictating well. I combined everything, including my defense, the transition to offense. I was serving well, I was very calm in important moments, and it paid off.”

Musetti defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2 to next face third-seeded Ruud.

 

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz reacts s he plays Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka during their second round match of the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Accor Arena, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

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