Novak Djokovic cruised to the third round of the 2016 BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, beating Gilles Muller in two sets on Wednesday.
The Serb didn't play his best tennis but was barely ever troubled, keeping his bid to win the tournament and secure the No. 1 ATP ranking at the end of the year alive. Andy Murray had to dig a lot deeper, needing three sets against Fernando Verdasco.
Marin Cilic triumphed 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 over Ivo Karlovic and will face David Goffin in the next round. The Belgium No. 8 seed had little trouble in seeing off Nicolas Mahut.
Earlier in Paris, Japanese No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori comfortably dispatched the challenge of Viktor Troicki in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5.
See the rundown of results from Wednesday's play:
|BNP Paribas Masters 2016: Wednesday's Results|
|David Goffin  bt. Nicolas Mahut||7-6 (7-5), 6-3|
|Kei Nishikori  bt. Viktor Troicki||6-2, 7-5|
|Lucas Pouille  bt. Feliciano Lopez||6-7 (1-7), 6-3, 6-4|
|Marin Cilic  bt. Ivo Karlovic||7-6 (9-7), 6-2|
|Jack Sock bt. Dominic Thiem ||6-2, 6-4|
|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  bt. Albert Ramos-Vinolas||6-3, 6-4|
|Gilles Simon bt. Roberto Bautista Agut ||2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (6)|
|Novak Djokovic  bt. Gilles Muller||6-3, 6-4|
|Pablo Cuevas  bt. Paolo Lorenzi||6-1, 6-2|
|John Isner bt. David Ferrer ||7-6 (4), 7-6 (4)|
|Andy Murray  bt. Fernando Verdasco||6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-5|
|Jan-Lennard Struff bt. Stan Wawrinka ||3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (1)|
|ATP World Tour|
Djokovic used his serve to book his spot in the next round of the Paribas Masters on Wednesday, dropping just a single point on serve in the first set against Muller.
The Djoker barely had to push the pedal, but when he did, it was clear Muller was no match for the defending champion. TennisTV shared this highlight of the match:
Djokovic will meet Grigor Dimitrov in the next round.
Cilic and Karlovic had a monumental, hour-long battle for the first set as no player was able to break the other's serve.
That was until the tiebreak, when Cilic, seeded No. 9 in Paris, managed to get over the line by taking his fourth set point. The second set was an altogether easier affair as Cilic gained some measure of the booming Karlovic serve to close the match out.
Despite losing his serve in the opening game, Nishikori recovered to take five games in a row as he clinched the opening set over Serbia's Troicki in half an hour of one-sided play.
Troicki proved a more stubborn opponent in the second set but could not find the true consistency needed to get past Nishikori, who won it 7-5 to progress.
Holding serve proved a problem for both Goffin and Mahut in their opening set in Paris, which lasted an hour before Goffin nudged ahead to grab it on a tiebreak.
The second set was a far more straightforward affair for the Belgian, who despite losing an early advantage broke his opponent at the perfect time and saw out the victory 6-3.
In the late matches, Verdasco took Murray to three sets after winning a tie-break in the second, but the Scotsman was able to pull himself together after some early struggles and keep the pressure on Djokovic in the race for the top spot.