Roger Federer in action during his third round match against Fabio Fognini of Italy at the Paris Masters tennis tournament ion Thursday. Photo: EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson

PARIS – Roger Federer defeated Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3 to reach the Paris Masters quarter-finals on Thursday as the Swiss great moved three wins away from his 100th career title.

Federer, 37, who captured his 99th trophy on home ground in Basel last week, will face Japan's Kei Nishikori on Friday for a place in the semi-finals in the French capital.

Third seed Federer is playing the Paris Masters for the first time since 2015 and is bidding to clinch the tournament for just the second time after winning it in 2011.

“I didn't come here to win Paris, actually. My objective is London,” said Federer as he looked beyond the French capital to the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals which start on November 11.

Roger Federer shakes hands with  Fabio Fognini (left) of Italy after winning their third round match at theParis Masters on Thursday. Photo: EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson
Roger Federer shakes hands with Fabio Fognini (left) of Italy after winning their third round match at theParis Masters on Thursday. Photo: EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson

Nishikori, seeded 10, made the quarter-finals by beating Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to avenge his defeat to the big South African in Sunday's Vienna final.

Federer leads Nishikori 6-2 in career meetings having won their last four clashes.

The Japanese's last win over the 20-time major winner came in 2014.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)