Berdych Fights Through; Khachanov Cruises In Marseille
Former Marseille finalist Tomas Berdych was prepared for a tough match on Thursday at the Open 13 Provence but not that tough. The 2013 finalist overcame 18 aces from Italian qualifier Stefano Travaglia to reach the quarter-finals 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3.
Berdych broke in the third and ninth games in the decider to advance in two hours and 14 minutes. “I was expecting a tough battle but I think this one was a little beyond my expectations. I think he played really, really well... He was playing a very good match,” said Berdych, who will next meet Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur.
Second seed Stan Wawrinka had to retire just 12 games into his first match in Marseille. The Swiss, who's on the comeback after knee surgery last year, retired down 4-6, 1-1 against 23-year-old Ilya Ivashka of Belarus.
“Practice went well during the last two days, but a match is always different. It's obviously difficult, but I need to focus on the positive things each day and keep working hard,” Wawrinka said.
Ivashka will next play France’s Nicolas Mahut, who delighted home supporters by beating sixth seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 41 minutes. Muller hit 17 aces and lost just nine of his first-service points, but it was Mahut who advanced to the Marseille quarter-finals for the third time (also 2008 and 2014).
Ninth-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov required just 50 minutes and lost just nine of his service points to defeat Mischa Zverev of Germany 6-2, 6-1. Khachanov won the first three games in each set and goes on to challenge France's Julien Benneteau, the 2010 runner-up, who overcame fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut on Wednesday night.
Eighth seed Filip Krajinovic, on the comeback trail from left Achilles and ankle injuries, booked a spot in his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since reaching the Rolex Paris Masters final (l. to Sock) in November 2017. The Serbian knocked out France’s Gilles Simon, the 2007 and 2015 champion, 6-3, 6-3 in 82 minutes. He’ll now to prepare to face another local, Lucas Pouille, the third seed and last year’s finalist.