Six-time titlist Novak Djokovic booked his place in the last-eight at the Rolex Paris Masters, following a hard fought 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over Tallon Griekspoor.
The top seed overcame the third round challenge in two hours and 37 minutes.
Novak started well, breaking the world no.23 in the second game. After falling behind 1-4, the Dutch produced a brilliant serving performance, and surprised the world no.1 by winning five straight games to grab the opening set.
Djokovic faced two break points at 4-4 in the second set, but held firm with two big serves. He won the tie-break 7-2 to force a decider.
A crucial break came in the ninth game of the final third set, and the Serb served it out to love.
“I don’t want to take anything away from his performance. He didn’t drop the level,” Djokovic said. “Maybe in the third set a few games he did a bit, but he was playing at a very high level and credit to him for that performance. If he would be the winner tonight, it would be absolutely deserved. I started off well but I ran out of steam. I’ve been struggling the last couple of days with my stomach and I just didn’t feel myself at all. I was just trying to hold my serve and get to a tie-break, which happened in the second. I got lucky on a couple of shots there. It could have easily gone his way, but overall I played a good tie-break and I started to feel better in the third. I’m really, really glad to overcome this challenge.”
Match statistics: aces (9-12), double faults (7-4), winners (28-43), unforced errors (30-39), total points won (102-101).
Novak will next play Holger Rune (DEN, 6, H2H 1-2) on Friday.
It is Novak’s 17th appearance in Paris-Bercy. The 36-year-old Serbian star won the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2021.