Round 1 Paris win keeps Fritz in ATP Finals hunt

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PARIS — Taylor Fritz of the United States stayed in contention for one of the two remaining ATP Finals spots by beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-5, 6-2 in the first round of the Paris Masters on Monday.

Fritz rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the opening set and took the second by winning the last four games. Davidovich Fokina made 24 unforced errors to just nine for Fritz.

Carlos Alcaraz, Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic have already qualified for the ATP Finals.

Fritz, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz are in the running to round out the eight-player field.

“It’s been the best season ever,” Fritz said in an on-court interview. “No pressure. I’m just trying to have the best result I possibly can. I played well here last year, so I don’t see why I can’t do it again this year.”

Fritz has won titles in Tokyo, Eastbourne and Indian Wells this season. He lost to eventual champion Djokovic in the Paris Masters quarterfinals last year.

John Isner, Cameron Norrie, Karen Khachanov, Yoshihito Nishioka and Nikoloz Basilashvili also advanced into the second round.

Isner made a winning comeback in his return from a wrist injury by downing qualifier Oscar Otte 6-4, 7-6 (3).

The American broke for a 4-3 lead in the opening set and saved two set points at 5-4 in the second. He then raced to a 6-0 lead in the tiebreaker and served his 19th ace to win the match.

Isner will next play Rublev, the No. 7 seed.

Nishioka beat Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4 and will next take on top-ranked Alcaraz.

No. 12 seed Norrie cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 6-4, while Khachanov ousted Sebastian Baez 6-1, 6-1, and Basilashvili defeated qualifier Quentin Halys 6-3, 6-4.

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