World number three, Roger Federer stayed on track for a 100th career singles title with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Italy’s Fabio Fognini to advance to the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters on Thursday.
Federer extended his record to four wins in as many matches over Fognini in 73 minutes.
Federer will next play Kei Nishikori, who posted a rock solid performance to beat last week’s Vienna Open champion, Kevin Anderson, 6-4, 6-4.
Anderson had beaten Nishikori in the final last week to clinch the Vienna Open title, and the Japanese got his revenge here, killing off any hopes the South African had of securing back-to-back titles.
Now, should Federer get past Nishikori, and Djokovic does well to upset Marin Cilic, then both men will meet in the semifinals. But Federer has his attention drawn elsewhere.
“My objective is London,” the 37-year-old Swiss said. “If I can do well here in Paris and beat [Djokovic], all the better. But I’m not there yet. We’ll see.”
Elsewhere, Austria’s Dominic Thiem edged Borna Coric 6-7, 6-2, 7-5 to advance and will next play defending champion, Jack Sock, who dismissed Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-0, 6-4.