Paris - Tomas Berdych has stayed on course for qualifying for the ATP finals for the fifth straight year by beating Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters on Thursday.
Berdych, the 2005 champion at the Palais Omnisports, hit eight aces and saved six of the eight break points he faced to move one match away from the season-ending tournament in London from Nov. 9-16.
Berdych will be guaranteed to play at the O2 Arena if he reaches the semis in Paris.
He will next play either third-seeded Stan Wawrinka or Kevin Anderson.
Four spots are still up for grabs in the race to London, with Andy Murray hoping to qualify later Thursday with a win over 11th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov.