Novak Djokovic dug out of a tense encounter with Tallon Griekspoor to defeat the Dutch challenger, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 to reach his 11th quarterfinal at the Rolex Paris Masters.

Six times a champion in Paris-Bercy, Djokovic shook off a late break in the deciding set to surge past Griekspoor and book a 2022 final rematch with defending champion Holger Rune.

Rune is currently ranked No. 8 in the ATP Race to Turin, and is aiming to create further distance between himself and No. 9 Hubert Hurkacz. The No. 6 seed followed the Pole in to the last eight with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Daniel Altmaier.

Hurkacz advanced over Casper Ruud conqueror Fernando Cerundolo earlier in the day, as did fellow outside Turin contenders Alex de Minaur and Karen Khachanov. Stefanos Tsitsipas clinched the sixth spot with a win over No. 7 Alexander Zverev, who can still claim his own return to the Nitto ATP Finals based on results over the next 48 hours.


Djokovic was in no danger of missing out on a 16th trip to the ATP Finals, having claimed three of the four major tournaments on offer in 2023, but was under pressure all the same against Greikspoor, who is in the midst of a career-best season and was in search of a maiden Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

The French crowd’s interest was certainly piqued as the world No. 23 reeled off four straight games to take the opening set out from under Djokovic, who had eased through his opening round against Tomás Etcheverry and led 4-2 to kick off his match on Thursday.

Djokovic soon settled as the two traded serves to an inevitable tiebreaker in the second set. Though Griekspoor continued to display flash at net, he couldn’t reverse a big lead from the top seed in the ensuing Sudden Death and the pair were soon deadlocked at one set apiece.

Nearly threatening the same trick in the first set, Griekspoor threw one last plot twist in the decider when he capitalized on a Djokovic lapse to level proceedings at four games all, only for Djokovic to shift into turbo and sweep the final eight points of the match, securing victory with a heavy second serve.

Djokovic’s rivalry with Next Gen Rune has become one of the more intriguing match-ups currently on offer on the ATP tour: after Djokovic won a four-set thriller in the young Dane’s Grand Slam main draw debut at the 2021 US Open, Rune has won their last two encounters, including earlier this year at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

After appearing to be a lock to make his ATP Finals debut, Rune struggled with injuries and inconsistency throughout the summer, only steadying in the last two weeks with the arrival of new coach Boris Becker, who famously worked with Djokovic for three years in the mid-2010s.