Taylor Fritz departed the French Open in a wheelchair this year but his return to Paris is proving a far happier experience as he reached the Paris Masters quarter-finals after beating Cameron Norrie 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) on Thursday.
The 24-year-old American’s reward for ousting the 14th seeded Briton is a meeting with world number one Novak Djokovic, who beat Fritz in five sets at this year’s Australian Open.
Djokovic will have had mixed feelings about how he got to the Masters last-eight as he came to Paris saying he needed match practice after seven weeks off.
However, his third round opponent, the mercurial Frenchman Gael Monfils, withdrew before their match due to a groin injury he suffered in his three-set win over compatriot Adrian Mannarino on Wednesday.
World number two Daniil Medvedev and world number four Alexander Zverev had to pull out all the stops to reach the last eight.
Medvedev came from a set down to beat Sebastian Korda 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 whilst the man he beat in last year’s final Zverev required 2hrs 46 minutes to overcome Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (3/7), 6-3.
“I’m really happy with myself, I managed to keep calm,” said US Open champion Medvedev of going a set down.
“In the end physically was tough for both…