Djokovic and Murray into Paris quarters as ranking battle continues


Top seed Novak Djokovic claimed a hard-fought comeback victory over Grigor Dimitrov to reach the quarter-finals at the BNP Paribas Masters.

The world number one, who is the three-time defending champion here, set up a last-eight clash with ninth seed Marin Cilic thanks to a 4-6 6-2 6-3 triumph over his Bulgarian opponent.

The Serbian will maintain his spot at the top of the world rankings ahead of Andy Murray should he win his next two matches to reach the Paris final.

Second seed Murray kept the heat on in his challenge for the top spot as he recorded a straight-sets victory over Lucas Pouille.

The 29-year-old Scot fired down six aces in a 6-3 6-0 win in 73 minutes on Centre Court after winning eight consecutive games to see off the Frenchman.

Earlier in the day, Croatia’s Cilic defeated eighth-seeded Belgian David Goffin with a 6-3 7-6 (11/9) win, while fourth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic was made to work hard before he also progressed thanks to a 4-6 6-1 6-2 victory over Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.

Richard Gasquet, seeded 12th, suffered a 6-2 3-6 7-5 defeat to America’s Jack Sock in front of his home crowd, while Sock’s compatriot John Isner also progressed following a 5-4 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 win over German qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff.

Another seed to progress was Czech Tomas Berdych, who defeated Gilles Simon in front of his home crowd to set up a last-eight tie with Murray.

The 2010 Wimbledon finalist claimed a 6-4 6-3 victory in the final match on Thursday.

Meanwhile, 11th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga recorded a 0-6 6-3 7-6 (7/3) win over fifth seed Kei Nishikori and faces Raonic next.

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