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Malisse Ousts Defending Champion Mayer

Bucharest, Romania

Malisse© Raed KrishanXavier Malisse is through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season.

Former Top 20 player Xavier Malisse built on his opening win over Grigor Dimitrov to oust second seed Florian Mayer 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the second round of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy on Wednesday in Bucharest.

The Belgian player is through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season after improving to a 6-9 match record. The 31 year old is making his debut at this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament.

"I played well," said Malisse. "I think we played a good match and I’m very happy to win at the end. It feels good. This year’s been tough for me and it’s the first time I’ll play quarter-finals this year. Physically I feel good after a long match. I worked hard last week and I’m happy it’s paying off."

World No. 21 Mayer was the defending champion in Bucharest after beating Pablo Andujar in last year’s final. The German dropped to a 4-10 mark on the season.

A pair of qualifiers also reached the quarter-finals. Hungary’s Attila Balazs closed a gap of 374 places in the South African Airways ATP Rankings to defeat World No. 76 Potito Starace 6-3, 6-4 in 76 minutes. Meanwhile, Germany’s Daniel Brands defeated fellow qualifier Jurgen Zopp of Estonia 7-6(3), 6-3.

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