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Del Potro relishing down to the wire race for final London spot

Paris Masters

Del Potro relishing down to the wire race for final London spot

Del Potro relishing down to the wire race for final London spot

CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

EFE

The Argentinean, who was 47th in the running before the US Open, will make the ATP finals if he reaches the semis in Paris - unless Lucas Pouille wins the title.

Juan Martín del Potro is thoroughly enjoying his late-season surge up the rankings, and the race to London standings, after beating Robin Haase 7-5, 6-4 in the Paris Masters last 16 on Thursday.

The former US Open champion can take the eighth and final qualification spot for the ATP Finals in London from Pablo Carreño Busta if he reaches the semi-finals at Bercy, and he will face either John Isner or sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov in the last eight.

"It's going to be a good battle next round trying to qualify for London," said Del Potro. "But anyways, I think I have two ways to take, one is London, one is my home and vacation. Both ways are great to me, but of course, I would love to reach London once again."

The 13th-seeded Argentinian had little trouble in seeing off Dutchman Haase, who had notched his first win over a top-five player against Alexander Zverev on Wednesday.

Three successive breaks of serve left Del Potro serving for the first set, which he took on his fourth set point.

The 29-year-old grabbed the crucial break in game five of the second set, before closing out a comfortable victory.

Delpo: "I didn't expect to get this close to London"

Del Potro, who was 47th in the 'Race to London' standings before the US Open, is now one win away from reaching his fifth semi-final in six events.

His incredible run of form included a victory over Roger Federer en route to the last four at Flushing Meadows and a second straight Stockholm Open title.

If Del Potro reaches the Paris semis, Frenchman Lucas Pouille would have to win the tournament to deny him a spot at the year-ending eight-man event for the first time since 2013.

Del Potro has suffered from a long list of injuries since he broke through with US Open glory eight years ago and was ranked 590th at the end of 2015, but he now stands on the brink of a return to the world's top 10.

"It could be a fantastic moment for me," he added. "I didn't expect to get this close to qualifying for London. And everything is very amazing after all my problems, all my injuries... I love to surprise myself, and that's what I'm doing now."

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