Paris Masters: Cameron Norrie loses to Taylor Fritz as ATP finals bid takes a blow
Last updated on .From the section Tennis
British men's number one Cameron Norrie saw his hopes of qualifying for the ATP Finals take a blow after a straight-set loss to American Taylor Fritz in Paris.
Fritz won 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to progress to the last eight, where he will face world number one Novak Djokovic.
Significant points are on offer in Paris in the hunt for a spot in the year-end ATP Finals.
Norrie, 26, could have guaranteed qualification with a title win.
Both players played exceptional tennis as the match went to a tie-break in the second set.
Fritz continued his recent fine run of form to see off a battling Norrie, with the American serving well throughout, hitting 10 aces to the Briton's three.
Norrie has reached six finals this year, including his title success at the prestigious Indian Wells event last month, with his form seeing him rise from 74th in the world rankings to 13th.
There are two remaining spots at the ATP Finals in Turin, where only the best eight singles players qualify.
Norway's Casper Ruud and Poland's Hubert Hurkacz are both ahead of Norrie, with Hurkacz adding another 90 points to his total after a 4-6 7-5 6-2 last-16 win over Germany's Dominik Koepfer in Paris.
Norrie trails Hurkacz by 190 points in the battle for qualification.
Asked after his defeat about his chances of reaching the ATP finals, Norrie said: "It still depends on some of the other results, Hubert tomorrow and Casper today, but it's looking unlikely I guess. I haven't done the maths."
Norrie was then told he would need to win the Stockholm Open and for Hurkacz to lose his Paris quarter-final on Friday to stand any chance of qualifying.
"Sounds difficult," Norrie conceded. But he confirmed that he would still travel to the finals as an alternate.
"I'm going to go to Turin anyway, I think there are two alternate spots, depends on how everything turns out, but I'll be an alternate there, then I'll go prepare and get ready for the Davis Cup after that."
Whether he competes in Stockholm, Norrie said, depends on Friday's results.
Djokovic progressed to the quarter-finals without lifting a racquet after his last-16 opponent, Gael Monfils, withdrew because of leg injury sustained during his second-round win over fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
Australia's James Duckworth defeated his countryman Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 to reach his first Masters quarter-final, where he will face Hurkacz.
In the doubles, Britain's Jamie Murray progressed to the last eight with Brazilian Bruno Soares, defeating Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut and Alexander Bublik 6-1 6-3.