Rafael Nadal was forced to withdraw with an injury to his right knee before his quarter-final game against Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic. Marin Cilic and Juan Del Potro were eliminated by Julien Benneteau and John Isner respectively in the quarters, bereaving the event of any big names in the semis.
The 31-year-old Spanish ace, who was the favorite for the title, had to pull out of the campaign with a knee injury to his right knee much to the disappointment of the crowd. Nadal was to play Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the quarter-finals after his win
The player didn’t confirm his participation in the ATP Finals next week, a title that has eluded him so far.
"For me, it's not about London. For me, it's about the longer term. Thursday, the pain was very strong but it was not the moment to stop. I had treatment to try and be able to play on this Friday... But unfortunately, it was impossible for me to return to the court in the same condition as last night," Nadal said.
The second biggest upset after Nadal was Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, who went down fighting against America’s John Isner in a 3-set thriller, losing 6-4 6-7 6-4. Isner did a commendable job keeping del Potro on the back foot with a strapping above his left knee. With an unreturnable serve on his first match point, Isner topped Del Potro for only the third time in nine matches.
Another shocker was world No. 83 Julien Benneteau beating World No. 5 Marin Cilic 7-6 7-5 to advance to the semi-finals. The French ace was riding high on energy with a raucous crowd behind him. With Cilic serving to stay in the match at 5-6, Benneteau stepped into an inside-out forehand that was unreachable for his opponent.
Benneteau has had a wonderful tournament so far, where he has overcome the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Goffin, and now Marin Cilic to make it to the last four. He will face America’s Jack Sock next, who defeated Spain’s Fernando Verdasco to reach the semis. A win in Paris Masters would mark Benneteau’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy in singles.