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Summary

  1. Andy Murray beats France's Lucas Pouille 6-3 6-0 in Paris Masters third round
  2. Briton wins in 72 minutes to reach the quarter-finals (faces Simon or Berdych)
  3. Murray bidding to become world number one this week
  4. Current number one Novak Djokovic beat Grigor Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-3
  5. *Denotes next server

Live Reporting

By Saj Chowdhury

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye

That is that. Thanks for joining us. Come back again on Friday for what promises to be a fascinating quarter-final clash for Andy Murray at the Paris Masters.

Murray celebrates
AP

'I played better today'

And on the win over Lucas Pouille:

"I returned well today. I was hitting the ball a little cleaner from the back of the court.

"Yesterday was hard for me. Fernando Verdasco played well. But today was better. I was able to dictate more points.

"You don't want to waste energy stressing over other matches. My goal is to finish the year as strong as possible."

Murray will finish top of the rankings for the first time ever if he wins the Paris Masters.

Murray looking forward to next challenge

Murray will now play either Czech Tomas Berdych or another Frenchman Gilles Simon.

Speaking to Sky Sports, here's what he thinks of his possible opponents:

"I haven't thought about it."

There's more: "Both are experienced and are tough players. Tomas Berdych hits a big ball and takes risks so the points are shorter. With Gilles it's long points and physically demanding. I'll try to play well whoever it is."  

Andy Murray
AP

Game, set and match

Pouille 3-6 0-6 Murray

Murray races to 30-0 with an ace but his third double fault sees Pouille pull it back to 30-30.

The Frenchman gives up trying to return the next. Match point.

But credit to the 22-year-old he risks coming to the net and wins the point with great control on a volley.

One of Murray's many weapons is the 'Serve That Gets Him Out Of A Spot Of Bother™'

He delivers two of those.

Game, set, match and quarter-finals.

Andy Murray celebrates
EPA

Pouille 3-6 0-5 Murray*

Lucas. What can we say to make you feel better?

The Frenchman finds himself facing three break points again. Shoulders slumped.

He saves the first but from the baseline Murray whips a deep forehand that Pouille gets his frame to and sends the ball into the crowd.

Despondent.

Lucas Pouille
EPA

*Pouille 3-6 0-4 Murray

SHOT!

Ridiculous mate. There was no way Murray should have won the point at 15-0 but he did.

Pouille's return sends the Scot very wide but Murray dumbfounds scientists by reaching the ball and sending it cross court for a scintillating winner.

He goes on to win the game, naturally.

Murray
EPA

Pouille 3-6 0-3 Murray*

You get to 30-0 quite easily and look to see the game out but then you realise you're playing Andy Murray who like a kid in a toy shop at Christmas keeps pestering the parent until the parent relents and buys them the latest dinosaur toy (or whatever kids like these days).

Deuce. 

Advantage Murray.

Break Murray.

Game Murray.

Andy Murray
Getty Images

*Pouille 3-6 0-2 Murray

Murray does keep giving Pouille chances - smacking a forehand from the baseline into the net. It's 30-30. Then deuce as Murray's forehand again fails to scale the net.

Another error from the Scotsman and it's advantage Pouille - the crowd clap rhythmically - not sure why - as they sense a break-back opportunity.

But Murray saves with a sliced backhand that Pouille struggles to return and then pulls out another big serve.

Andy Murray
Getty Images

Pouille 3-6 0-1 Murray*

Pouille has yet to win more than three games in a set against Murray in the two matches and a set they've played against each other.

Best not to go down a break early in the second set if you're going to resolve that issue.

Murray has three break points. To his credit the Frenchman wins the next four.

Advantage Pouille. Fails to take the advantage Pouille.

Murray breaks again in the first game of the set after picking off the second serve.

Pouille's points won on his first serve? 61%.

Must improve.

Pouille
AFP

Russell Fuller

BBC tennis correspondent on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

He's won that relatively quickly and relatively painlessly. If he can repeat the trick in the second set he will be pleased with his efforts.

Murray reacts
Getty Images

Game and first set

*Pouille 3-6 Murray

Pouille faces two set points against him. The Frenchman duels with Murray at the net but then sends a return past the reach of the Scot. One saved.

Murray, unperturbed, then sends down a heavy serve to the body that his French opponent returns into the net.

Muzza one up.

Andy Murray
AFP

Get Involved #bbctennis

Future Grand Slam winners?

Nick Powell: Murray may be 29 but is still in his prime. Nadal started winning young, but Murray started getting GS's at 25 so has time left   

Pouille 3-5 Murray*

Pouille! Pouille! He's got a 'touch of the Murrays' on his first serve.

Three break points for the Scot. Like Murray he saves the first and like Murray he doesn't save the second as the Scot swipes a forehand past Pouille who stands motionless at the net.

Broken again. Murray to serve for the set.

*Pouille 3-4 Murray

Wow! Three break points for Pouille but Murray gifted him the opportunities because of a string of poor first serves. The Frenchman made light of the ineffective second serves.

Murray saves the first before Pouille punches a forehand return down the line.

Break back. Cheers from the French support.

Pouille in action
AFP

*Pouille 2-4 Murray

Great variety from Lucas Pouille at 30-15 ends with the Frenchman adding disguise on a drop shot that has Murray scampering to the net and failing to return with accuracy.

Pouille takes the game with some traditional serve and volleying.

Get Involved #bbctennis

Future Grand Slam winners?

Toniwater: Raonic with JohnMcE in his corner cud do damage over the next few years! JMcE will teach him a thing or 2 about winning GS's!  

Milos Raonic
Getty Images

*Pouille 1-4 Murray

A 19-shot rally lifts the crowd with Pouille finishing on top thanks to a deft backhand drop shot.

Murray counter punches by killing a powerful return from Pouille at the net before the Scot makes an error by sending the ball skywards towards the International Space Station.

It's 30-30 then 40-40 after a slightly lazy volley from the world number two at the net.

Wait! Advantage Pouille. You have to break pal. But he doesn't. Murray controls play with a well judged serve and volley.

He finally wraps up the game, but only after giving Pouille another chance.

Nevertheless, it's 4-1 to the Scot.

Murray
AFP

Pouille 1-3 Murray*

Pouille had used the tactic of coming to the net already and it paid dividends. He moves in again and moves to 30-0 by again rushing Murray but then makes a mistake at the net with a forehand.

A good first serve gets him out of trouble - he's on the board and he gets a warm round of applause from his French supporters.

Bravo.

Pouille
AFP

*Pouille 0-3 Murray

Murray wins his service game to love with an ace that sends his opponent out wide.

The Scot was as impressive in the first set of his match against Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday, before the Spaniard fought back. So let's not think this will be an easy two sets victory.*

*It might be though.

Pouille 0-2 Murray*

30-0 then the first double fault of the match.

Pouille, wearing a cap backwards that looks to have been dipped in luminous pink paint, then finds himself facing break point - Murray making it 30-30 with a great dipping forehand and 30-40 via an error by the Frenchman.

Murray takes the break point by pounding a forehand into the feet of Pouille.

Early break.

Andy Murray
AFP

*Pouille 0-1 Murray

What a lovely crosscourt forehand return from Pouille to win the first point on the Murray serve.

The Frenchman moves to 40-15 by coming to the net and puts Murray under pressure with some exquisite volleying.

Muzza saves both break points as his opponent's returns are struck that wee bit too long.

Pouille then snatches at a double handed backhand before the Scot swats one away at the net.

Good start for Pouille but he failed to take his two break point chances - missed opportunities mon ami.

Pouille
AFP

Head-to-head

Pouille v Murray

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Get involved #bbctennis

Who are the future Slam winners?

Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka, Djokovic more Djokovic.

OK, so these guys are getting on a bit (if you consider being 29 old) and will, perhaps, lose their grip of the Slams within four or five years - maybe sooner.

So who do you see taking over? Pouille? Milos Raonic? Dominic Thiem? Even GB's very own Kyle Edmund?

Predict your future men's Grand Slam winners and why you think they have the right qualities - use #bbctennis.

Kyle Edmund
EPA

Djokovic survives early scare

Novak Djokovic
EPA

He lost the first set and appeared to suffer a knee problem in the second set, but Novak Djokovic came through his third-round match against Grigor Dimitrov, winning 4-6 6-2 6-3.

That all means that the 29-year-old Serb remains in control of the destiny of the world number one ranking - which he's held for 122 weeks. All he needs is to reach the final here in Paris.

However, failure to do so would allow Murray to overtake him if the Scot can win the title, or if Murray reaches the final and "The Djok" exits before the semis.

Djokovic now plays ninth seed Marin Cilic in the quarters.

Pouille impresses in 2016

Pouille v Murray

Lucas Pouille
Rex Features

So Lucas Pouille.

Last November he was world number 78. This November he's world number 17.

An impressive 2016 saw him reach the quarter-finals at both Wimbledon and the US Open .

He won the Moselle Open in September and his best display at a Masters event came in Rome where he reached the semi-finals only to see his run ended by... Andy Murray.

In head-to-heads it's 2-0 to the Scot. Will Pouille manage to upset the odds in front of his home crowd?

Murray continues number one bid

Pouille v Murray

Andy Murray
Getty Images

Hello again.

Well, that opening Paris Masters match was a breeze for Andy Murray eh?

Many of us thought he would ease past 32-year-old world number 46 Fernando Verdasco, but the Spaniard made it very difficult for the world number two. In fact, it wasn't until late in the third set did any of us know which way the match was heading.

But he's through and his hopes of becoming world number one by the end of this tournament remain very much alive.

His next test is Lucas Pouille. More about the 22-year-old rising star in a sec.

Until then sit back, or stand, and follow our live text coverage and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra's coverage of this match.