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Britain secures first win while Serbia record first loss.

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Rafa keeps on track for a first in Paris

The semi-final line-up for the Rolex Paris Masers title features three of the top four seeds wit the 10th seed making up the last four.

I need to return better if I want to have chances to keep going Rafa Nadal

Rafa Nadal claimed a 4-6 7-5 6-1 victory over his Spanish compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta, a result which ends Carreno Busta hopes of qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals at the O2 in London which starts a week on Sunday.

It also hands Diego Schwartzman that final place, the Argentine having been beaten in straight sets earlier in the day by Daniil Medvedev.

The 13-time French Open champion and top seed chasing his first Paris Masters title, progressed into the semi-finals with a 4-6 7-5 6-1 victory where he will play the fourth seeded Alexander Zverev who in turn ended San Wawrinka’s run by defeating the Swiss veteran 6-3 7-6(1).

“The thing that really matters to me, I need to return better,” said Nadal following his 1002nd career win.

“My serve is working well, I think, so (is) the rest of the game more or less. I am playing better and better.

“I need to return better if I want to have chances to keep going.”

Top seed Nadal, playing his first event since winning his record-extending 13th French Open title across the French capital at Roland Garros last month, would equal Novak Djokovic’s record of 36 Masters titles with success this week.

The 34-year-old’s best effort at Bercy Arena was a 2007 final loss to David Nalbandian.

The world number two was in trouble when facing three break points in the opening game of the second set, but he saved them all before forcing a decider in the 12th game with a brilliant forehand winner.

He capped a dominant third-set display by reeling off five successive games.

Zverev meanwhile, reached the semis for the first time by extending his winning streak to 11 matches with a hard-fought win over Wawrinka.

The 23-year-old German broke the Swiss No.2 when Wawrinka served for the second set before overpowering his opponent in the tie-break.

“Definitely happy to be in the semis and it’ll be an interesting one tomorrow (Saturday)… A lot of people are looking forward to that and I am too,” Zverev, who has a 5-1 losing record against Nadal, said.

As already mentioned, Schwartzman saw his hopes of qualifying for the O2 minimised as he failed to make the semi-finals which would have been enough for a ticket to London following his 64-minute 6-3 6-1 thrashing by Medvedev.

The third seeded Russian seeded will go on to face Milos Raonic, the tenth seed from Canada, a 6-3 3-6 7-6(7) victor over Frenchman Ugo Humbert.

World number five Medvedev, whose seven ATP titles have all come on hard courts, broke Schwartzman’s serve in the third game and maintained the pressure throughout.

“Milos (Raonic) is one of the biggest servers maybe in the history of the sport,” said Medvedev later.

“So it’s not going to be that easy, but for sure when you play indoor hard courts you need to serve well.”

Raonic hammered 25 aces in a typically strong serving display, but had to battle back from the brink of defeat in a deciding-set tie-break against Humbert saving a match point after a remarkable 30-shot rally, before some big serves saw him over the finish line.

The former Wimbledon runner-up, who lost the 2014 Paris Masters final to Novak Djokovic, has been beaten in both of his previous meetings with Medvedev.

“It’s going to be a tough one, he’s been playing especially well this week,” Raonic said. “I’ve just got to be sharp and take care of my serve.”






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