Stefanos Tsitsipas has set up a blockbuster semi-final showdown with Novak Djokovic in Paris after dismissing American Tommy Paul Friday night to capture his 60th match win of the year.

The fifth-seeded Greek, who still has an outside shot at finishing the year No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, saved all seven break points he faced in the 6-2, 6-4 win while converting all three break opportunities that came his way.

“It was a very good match,” Tsitsipas said. “I was able to get ahead in some of his service games, which gave me good energy. I wish I could have avoided some of the situations where I had to save break points, but I dealt with those situations very professionally and I was able to hold serve. My forehand is my confidence shot and has allowed me to get into the corners to open up the court. It’s a weapon of mine on these courts.”

The 2021 and ’22 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champion is attempting to win multiple ATP Masters 1000 titles in the same season for the first time, but that road runs through Djokovic. The Serbian owns a record 38 titles at this level, and has triumphed in Paris a record six times, including in his two most recent appearances in 2019 and 2021. Djokovic has also beaten Tsitsipas seven straight times and boasts an overall 8-2 lead in their ATP Head2Head series.

Asked how he would snap his losing streak to Djokovic, Tsitsipas said that he would fight the urge to overplay against the man who spent a record 373 weeks as World No. 1 during his career. “I need to show the same consistency. I have weapons that I can use. But in the past I feel I have used too much spin or power. It’s important that I stay at a medium level and not overdo it. It will be a physical match and I will need to move well.”

Tsitsipas, who won the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in 2018 and the Nitto ATP Finals in 2019, has claimed 50 match wins in a season in three of the past four years. He will be returning to Turin again this year for the season finale from 13-20 November.

[ATP APP]

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