Novak Djokovic is fighting like crazy to hold on to the No 1 spot, keeping Andy Murray at bay as he made it to the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters.
The three-time defending champion fought and defeated Grigor Dimitrov 4-6 6-2 6-3 in two hours 24 minutes.
Two more wins this week and the Serb will keep Murray — who beat Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-0 later on Thursday — at bay for the time being.
But should Djokovic fail the make the final, the Scot could overtake him — Murray will only need to get to Sunday if Djokovic loses to Marin Cilic on Friday.
The Serb set up a last eight meeting with Marin Cilic, who he is 14-0 against.
“He likes to play me,” said Cilic, who won his second title of the season last week in Basel. “Or if you want to put it around differently, I don’t like to play him that much.”