John Isner remained on track for the last spot at the ATP Finals by beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 in the Paris Masters quarter-finals on Friday night.
The American was last year runner-up and really need to win the competition to achieve the finals in London this month.
In meantime, top-positioned Rafael Nadal hauled out with right leg damage and would like to be fit to influence at the London field.
The loss finished del Potro’s expectations of achieving anything in London. The Argentine expected to win to ensure his place.
The eighth and last place for the London competition is amongst Isner and Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, who is in front of Isner in the race.
Isner, who played with an injury on his left knee, softened for 2-1 up the third set. With an unreturnable serve on his initially coordinate point, Isner topped del Potro for just the third time in nine matches.
Isner will next face Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic, who progressed when Nadal pulled back.
Nadal flagged his knee wasn’t right amid his third-round victory against Pablo Cuevas on Thursday.
‘I will do my treatment, do my best to play in London,’ he said. ‘However, I can’t discuss that now; it is sufficiently intense for me to haul out from here.’
Tournament chief Guy Forget applauded Nadal for his state of mind in attempting his hardest to play, regardless of the pain he was in.
‘We as a whole know Rafa, once he says he will accomplish something he adheres to it,’ Forget said.
‘He said I’m sorry to learn 10 times, similar to a child who’s finished something incorrectly. I stated, `No, no, I’m sad for you.”
Rajinovic a qualifier positioned 77, is through to his initially Masters semi-last and turns into his first qualifier to achieve the semis since Jerzy Janowicz in 2012.
‘My objective this year was to play challengers to get focuses for one year from now,’ the Serb said. ‘I was at that point top 100 a few years prior; at that point, I had misfortune with wounds.’
Krajinovic said his advance was slowed down by ‘an additional bone in the wrist’ that should have been dealt with.
In different quarterfinals later on Friday, it was Marin Cilic against Julien Benneteau and Fernando Verdasco against Jack Sock.