Rolex Paris Masters 2017: Rafael Nadal Beats Pablo Cuevas in Round of 16

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2017

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay during the third round of the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy Arena in Paris, France, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Francois Mori/Associated Press

Pablo Cuevas made Rafael Nadal work in the Round of 16 of the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters on Thursday, taking the World No. 1 to three sets.

Nadal cruised in the first set but lost a tie-break in the second before he rediscovered his momentum in the decider. The final scores were 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3.

Elsewhere, David Goffin suffered a shock loss in two sets against Julien Benneteau, 6-3, 6-3, and his hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals appeared to take a dent in the process. Lucas Pouille subsequently lost to Jack Sock, however, and that result saw the Belgian qualify for London.

For a look at the complete results and updated draw, visit Tennis.com.

   

Recap

Cuevas couldn't keep up with Nadal in the first set and suffered an early break in the second, as Thursday's marquee match seemed like it would be over quickly.

The Uruguayan battled back against the World No. 1 and secured a tie-break with stellar work from the baseline, however. Per Record's Jose Morgado, it appeared injury played a part:

Nadal came out firing to start the third set, grabbing an early break, but once again, Cuevas battled back into the match. The Uruguayan couldn't keep up the momentum, however, and Nadal finished the job in style.

Goffin was just one win shy of booking his ticket to the ATP Finals, and a matchup with Benneteau appeared to favour the Belgian. The wild card lost just six games on his way to a huge upset win, however, and as a result, Goffin's London hopes rested in the hands of other players.

Per tennis writer Matt Zemek, the Belgian endured something of a nightmare outing:

Goffin turned his attention to Pouille―who faced Sock―who had to beat Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the tournament, the only outcome that could keep the Belgian out of the ATP Finals.

The Frenchman couldn't deal with Sock's raw power as he lost a tie-break in the first set and regressed in the second.

With Goffin qualified, there is just one ticket left for the Finals. Sock and Del Potro are part of the group of players who can still qualify. Del Potro beat Robin Haase in two sets to move to the next round, while Fernando Verdasco shocked Dominic Thiem.

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