James Duckworth has advanced to his career-first quarterfinal at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament.
The 29-year-old continued his sensational run at the Paris Masters to defeat compatriot Alexei Popyrin in an all-Aussie third-round clash today.
After a tight opening set, Duckworth stepped up the pressure on his 22-year-old opponent and raced to a 4-0 second-set lead.
Popyrin kept fighting and reeled off four consecutive games, but in the end couldn’t stop Duckworth from powering to a fifth win from his past six matches against a fellow Australian.
After a one-hour and 46-minute tussle, Duckworth served out a 7-6(6) 6-4 victory.
The in-form Duckworth has now won 15 of his past 20 matches and is projected to be rewarded with a top-50 debut next week.
But for now, the world No.55’s focus is firmly on a quarterfinal meeting with either seventh-seeded Pole Hubert Hurkacz or German lucky loser Dominik Koepfer.
Duckworth becomes the first Australian to reach an ATP Masters 1000 singles quarterfinal since Matthew Ebden at Shanghai in 2018.
Aussies in action – Paris
Men’s singles, third round
James Duckworth (AUS) d [LL] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 7-6(6) 6-4
Men’s singles, quarterfinals
James Duckworth (AUS) v  Hubert Hurkacz (POL) or [LL] Dominik Koepfer (GER)
Men’s doubles, quarterfinals
 John Peers (AUS)/Filip Polasek (SVK) v Sander Gille (BEL)/Joran Vliegen (BEL)