Britain’s Andy Murray edged out Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in the Paris Masters second round as he aims for the world number one ranking.
Murray, 29, who could overtake Novak Djokovic with a good run this week, won 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 in two hours and 29 minutes despite a patchy display.
Earlier, Djokovic beat Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller 6-3 6-4.
The Serb, 29, will retain his number one ranking – held for 122 weeks – if he reaches the final.
However, failure to do so would allow Murray to overtake him if the Scot can win the title, or if Murray reaches the final and Djokovic exits before the semis.
Murray took the first set against world number 46 Verdasco, after breaking to go 4-2 ahead, but lost a second-set tie-break after both players twice had their serves broken.