Paris: Fourth seed Jannik Sinner withdrew before his third-round match at the Paris Masters on Thursday blaming “fatigue” after finishing his previous match after half-past two in the morning.
The night before, the Italian started his match against American Mackenzie McDonald after midnight and battled to a three-set victory in two hours 16 minutes.
Sinner was due on centre court on Thursday as the fourth match on the schedule to face Australian 13th seed Alex de Minaur.
Darren Cahill, who coaches Sinner, said on Instagram that he was happy with the victory but criticised “zero care for players’ welfare with Paris scheduling”.
'What a joke'
Casper Ruud, the eighth seed, who lost to Francisco Cerundulo on Wednesday, echoed the criticism on Thursday.
“Bravo atptour way to help one of the best players in the world recover and be as ready as possible when he finished his previous match at 2:37am this morning 14.5 hours to recover. what a joke,” the Norwegian posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Sinner arrived in Paris from Vienna where he won the title on Sunday in a final against Daniil Medvedev that lasted more than three hours.
Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced to the quarter-finals and also locked up his place in the season-ending eight-man ATP Finals as he beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.
Tsitsipas, a 25-year-old Greek, became the sixth player officially qualified for the November 12-19 event in Turin after his first win this season in eight matches against top-10 players.
“It’s awesome. What a great relief to finally get that spot,” said Tsitsipas.
“I’ve been working extremely hard the whole year to be in Turin, and it’s a moment of relief that I’ve made it to one of my favourite events of the year.”
Tsitsipas broke Zverev’s first service game in each set. The German fought back to force a tiebreak in the first set but could not find a way through in the second.
The German still holds the seventh spot in Turin but the two men immediately below him, Holger Rune and Hubert Hurkacz are still going in Paris and could collect enough points from the tournament to overtake Zverev.
In the quarter-finals, Tsitsipas will face Russian Karen Khachanov, the winner in Paris in 2018. Khachanov, the 16th seed, beat compatriot Roman Safiullin, who had eliminated Carlos Alcaraz, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Hurkacz advanced with a 6-4, 6-3 win over unseeded Argentine Cerundolo. The Pole will face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the last eight.
Dimitrov opened the day’s action by racing to a straightforward 6-2, 6-2 victory over Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.
Dimitrov, the world No 17, showed little sign of any effects from his three-hour win against third seed Medvedev the previous afternoon as he dispatched Bublik in just over an hour.
Andrey Rublev also moved into the last eight, beating Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-3.
“Today it went my way,” Rublev said. “Early breaks gave me some confidence. From one set up you play with more freedom and then with a break in the second more free. Then you can go for even more.”
The Russian has already qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin later this month. He will face the well-rested De Minaur in the Bercy quarter-finals.