Meanwhile, world number one Novak Djokovic defeated Britain’s Kyle Edmund with 7-6(7) 6-1 to reach the Paris Masters quarter finals.

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their men's singles tennis match on day four of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 - Rolex Paris Masters - indoor tennis tournament at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris on October 31, 2019.
Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their men's singles tennis match on day four of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 - Rolex Paris Masters - indoor tennis tournament at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris on October 31, 2019. (AFP)

Rafael Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka for the 19th time in 22 meetings, winning 6-4, 6-4 Thursday to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals.

The two players share 22 Grand Slams, but Nadal has 19 of them and once again established a stranglehold on his Swiss opponent. Wawrinka's blistering one-handed backhand was as erratic as it was occasionally superb, but Nadal was almost always in control.

"My serve worked well and the volley too," Nadal said. "I went to the net a couple of times, serve and volley."

The second-ranked Spaniard was briefly troubled in the first set, saving one break point in the second game and another in the eighth, and then needed some brief medical assistance in the second set for a stomach problem.

"Nothing important, honestly," Nadal said, brushing away any health concerns. "During the match I was (asking) a little bit if just the doctor can give me something to feel a little bit better."

Nadal next faces 2008 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he chases a first Paris title, which would guarantee him the year-end No.1 ranking for the fifth time.

Tsonga saved two match points in a grueling 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) win against big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff.

Nadal leads Tsonga 9-4 in their career meetings, with Tsonga's first win coming in the semifinals of the 2008 Australian Open — which remains the only major final he's reached. He lost it to Novak Djokovic, who has since added 15 more major titles to join Nadal and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer as the game's modern greats.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Britain's Kyle Edmund during their men's singles tennis match on day four of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 - Rolex Paris Masters - indoor tennis tournament at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris on October 31, 2019.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Britain's Kyle Edmund during their men's singles tennis match on day four of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 - Rolex Paris Masters - indoor tennis tournament at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris on October 31, 2019. (Christophe Archambault / AFP)

Djokovic beats Edmund 

World number one Novak Djokovic had to dig deep in the opening set as he reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(7) 6-1 win against Britain’s Kyle Edmund on Thursday.

The 16-times Grand Slam champion, who has been slightly ill lately, was kept on his toes before racing to victory to set up a meeting with seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Greek beat Australian Alex De Minaur 6-3 6-4.

Serbian Djokovic bagged the first set on his seventh opportunity and he did not look back after breaking for 2-1 in the second with a booming forehand winner.

Fifth seed Dominic Thiem was knocked out in the third round when he lost 6-3 6-2 to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov who will play his first quarter-final at a Masters event since Canada 2018.

Dimitrov, who had been struggling since reaching the semi-finals at the US Open, played brilliantly throughout, taking advantage of Thiem’s fading condition after the Austrian won the title in Vienna last Sunday.

Dimitrov next takes on Chile’s Cristian Garin, who beat local favourite Jeremy Chardy in three sets.

Source: Reuters