Raonic, Ferrer survive must-win situations at Paris Masters

Six players for four spots. That is the World Tour Finals scenario that will ultimately be sorted out by the BNP Paribas Masters. Three days into the regular-season finale, still nothing has been decided.

The race for London has never been more competitive and it reached new heights on Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Masters. Wednesday’s second-round action began with Milos Raonic facing a must-win situation against Jack Sock if he wanted to stay alive in the race to London. And that’s exactly what the Canadian did.

Sock put up a strong fight–he always does in this matchup–but Raonic survived 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(4) after two hours and one minute of play. Raonic is now 6-1 lifetime against Sock, including 5-0 this season. The world No. 10 has won two straight matches at the American’s expense in third-set tiebreakers and Raonic is 6-0 in tiebreakers between the two players in 2014.

Far more important than his improvement in the head-to-head series over Sock is Raonic’s bid for London. He must advance further than Ferrer this week and if he does, he will qualify unless Grigor Dimitrov makes it all the way to the final.

“I know what I need to do,” Raonic assured. “But it’s too dependent on other guys, so I’m just very much focused on myself. It’s not like if I do well I have a safe spot.”

Raonic interview:

By emerging victorious from his must-win match, Raonic put Ferrer in the exact same situation in the very next contest on the same court. The sixth-ranked Spaniard had to win to keep his hopes afloat and he did just that, holing off David Goffin 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Ferrer interview:

The story will continue on Thursday with Raonic going up against Roberto Bautista Agut and Ferrer facing countryman Fernando Verdasco. Either Raonic or Ferrer could clinch a spot if the other one loses, although Raonic would also need a Dimitrov loss to secure a berth. Dimitrov, who destroyed Pablo Cuevas 6-0, 6-3 in round two, will meet fellow World Tour Finals contender Andy Murray.

Murray clinches a place in London with just one more victory.
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