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Murray awaits Djokovic with Federer in wings

Murray awaits Djokovic with Federer in wings
Andy Murray guaranteed his place at the World Tour Finals on Thursday while Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer stayed neck and neck in their battle for world number one at the Paris Masters.

Djokovic overcame Frenchman Gael Monfils in the final match of the day with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) victory
to become the eighth quarterfinalist. The world number one now faces Murray in a repeat of their 2012 US Open final when the Scot won his first Grand Slam title.

Murray, 27, breezed to a 6-3, 6-3 third-round victory over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov to stay on course for a fourth tournament victory in just six weeks. Murray joins Djokovic, Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic in reaching the season-ending showpiece in London with David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori in possession of the other three spots. Canada’s Milos Raonic is the only player who can gatecrash the top eight but needs to win the Paris tournament to guarantee his place.

Federer kept the pressure on Djokovic in the race for the year-ending number one spot with a gritty 6-4, 6-4 victory over French world number 176 Lucas Pouille.

A crucial break for the 17-time Grand Slam winner in the seventh game of the second set paved the way for victory over Pouille, who came through as a qualifier and had only recorded one Tour-level win before Paris this week. It was Federer’s 14th straight victory and sets up a quarterfinal matchup against Raonic.
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