Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer rolled into the Paris Masters quarterfinals but this time without Novak Djokovic.
Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, defending champion David Nalbandian and amazingly Nikolay Davydenko also made the last eight.
Nadal beat Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2, Federer defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-4, while Djokovic lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
“I’m not playing my best level, but I’m not playing badly,” Nadal said.Nadal will play Davydenko, who crushed 2005 champion Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1.
“If I can improve a bit for tomorrow and for Shanghai I think I can finish the year playing well.”
Even though Nadal was guaranteed to start 2009 ahead of Federer in the rankings, he feels like he’s still behind him.
“Roger had four or five years with the No. 1, winning two, three Grand Slams a year,” Nadal said.Federer sets his eyes on his first semifinals at the Bercy Indoor Arena but he has to go through James Blake first, who defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4, 6-4.
“So for that reason I think everybody says Federer is the best.”
“I prefer to come back to a place where I had success in the past. This is not the case here,” Federer.Federer is 8-1 against Blake, with the Swiss star’s only loss in the quarterfinals at the Beijing Olympics in August.
“I’m not the revengeful type, but I would be pleased to beat him,” Federer said.Djokovic beat Tsonga in the Australian Open final for his first major title, but has lost to the Frenchman in successive matches since then including the recent Thailand Open.
“I just don’t feel quite comfortable on the court,” the Serb said.Tsonga will next meet Roddick for the first time in nearly two years.
“When you play indoors, points get quicker. (Tsonga) was serving really well.”
“If I manage to stay in shape physically, I will go from strength to strength in this tournament,” Tsonga said.
The seventh-seeded Roddick overcame 10th-seeded Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5 on his fifth match point.
“It wasn’t going to do me any good to play patty-cake back and forth with him today,” Roddick said.Murray topped Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-3, 7-6 (6) for his 14th straight win, staying on track for a third straight Masters title.
“I’m not as quick as he is and I’m not as consistent as he is. It actually made for a pretty simple game plan.”
Murray will face Nalbandian in the quarterfinals, after the Argentine defeated countryman del Potro 6-4, 6-0.
“His results have been pretty special the last couple of years. Should be a great match,” Murray said of Nalbandian.After victories at Cincinnati and Madrid, Murray hopes to become the only player to win three straight Masters titles.
“He picks his schedule very well and is fresher than the other players toward the end of the year.”
(Via AP, Images via Yahoo! Sport, zimbio.com)