Pouille Ousts Ferrer For Milestone Win
Frenchman pushing on in Rome
French lucky loser Lucas Pouille reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final on Thursday as he upset ninth seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1 in the third round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
The 22-year-old Pouille beat Ferrer for the second time this year, having saved match point in a milestone win over the Spaniard in Miami. In the 61-minute match at the Foro Italico, Pouille broke serve six times and won 57 per cent of his return points.
The Frenchman has made the most of a second chance this week in Rome. After falling in the final round of qualifying, Pouille was granted a main draw berth when countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew. He promptly defeated Ernests Gulbis in the second round before securing victory over Ferrer.
It has been a breakthrough start to 2016 for Pouille. He followed up his run to the fourth round in Miami by beating Richard Gasquet in the second round in Monte-Carlo and reaching his first ATP World Tour final on clay in Bucharest (l. to Verdasco). Last week, he qualified into Madrid before saving four match points to oust David Goffin in the first round.
The loss means that Ferrer's streak of 291 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings will end on Monday.
|Player||Weeks||Last Week Outside Top 10|
|Novak Djokovic||476||March 12, 2007 (No. 13)|
|Roger Federer||707||October 7, 2002 (No. 13)|
|Andy Murray||82||October 13, 2014 (No. 11)|
|Stan Wawrinka||155||May 20, 2013 (No. 11)|
|Rafael Nadal||575||April 18, 2005 (No. 11)|
|Kei Nishikori||88||September 1, 2014 (No. 11)|
|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||30||October 12, 2015 (No. 15)|
|Tomas Berdych||305||June 28, 2010 (No. 3)|
|David Ferrer||291||October 4, 2010 (No. 11)|
|Milos Raonic||2||April 25, 2016 (No. 11)|
On Friday, Pouille will face fourth seed Juan Monaco for a place in the semi-finals. Monaco recorded his biggest win in six years as he ousted reigning Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 25 minutes.
It was the Argentine’s first win over a Top 4 player since beating then-No. 4 Andy Murray in Valencia in 2010.
Monaco is on the comeback from wrist, back and shoulder injuries that have plagued him this season. As World No. 148 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, the Argentine captured his ninth ATP World Tour title last month in Houston (d. Sock) and is now through to his first Masters 1000 quarter-final since Miami 2015 (l. to Berdych).
The 31-year-old Wawrinka, who reached the Rome final in 2008, dropped to an 18-7 mark on the season. "It was not a great level today," said Wawrinka. "I was trying to fight, trying to find a solution, but in the end I didn't find a good balance between playing some long rallies and being aggressive. He just played a bit better, and I didn't take my chances."