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Radio France Internationale
Radio France Internationale
Paul Myers

Tsitsipas defeats last of the local heroes at Paris Masters

Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced to the last eight at the Paris Masters following a straight sets defeat of the French qualifier Corentin Moutet. AP - Thibault Camus

A few hours after French veteran Gilles Simon said au revoir to the Paris Masters and the ATP circuit, Corentin Moutet, the last of the local heroes, bade farewell to the competition.

The 23-year-old world number 64, who emerged from the qualifying competition, battled bravely but fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas proved too solid in key passages of an enthralling third round clash at the Accor Arena in Bercy, south-eastern Paris.

The 24-year-old Greek claimed the encounter 6-3, 7-6 after 95 minutes to advance to the quarter-finals at the season's last Masters 1000 event - considered to be the most prestigious crowns after the four Grand Slam trophies offered in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York.

"Corentin has been playing well over the last few days and I was not expecting an easy task," said Tsitsipas during his on-court interview.

"He is a fighter and he plays a lot of unpredictable shots so I knew I would have to do my job ... and I think I did my job."

Credit is due to the world number five who refused to cede his concentration to a raucous partisan crowd who cheered his errors and joyously celebrated Moutet's every success.

"Corentin was consistent in all his service games and it was close but in these situations you have to believe in yourself and your abilities and I did," added Tsitsipas who will play either the 14th seed Pablo Carreno Busta or the unseeded American Tommy Paul on Friday for a place in the semi-final.

Earlier on centre court, 37-year-old Simon went down in straight sets to the eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Simon retired from the ATP circuit after the defeat as one of the most successful French players since tennis was opened to professionals in 1968.

After starting in his late teens, Simon rose to world number six and clocked up 14 titles.

He was expected to lose his first round match on Monday against former world number one Andy Murray who had beaten him on 16 of their 18 meetings. But Simon prevailed after nearly three hours.

Another three set followed in the second round against the ninth seed Taylor Fritz.

"I'm serene because I was sure about my decision," said Simon.

"And this week, every match reminded me why I was so sure," he added wryly.

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