Carlos Alcaraz made his job done against experienced fellowcountry Roberto Bautista Agut, scoring a straight sets win with a score 6-3 7-5. The world's number two was a banker pre-match favorite, but needed to put some effort, as the older of Spaniards made some difficult conditions for Alcaraz in both sets. The tournament's 13th seed produced two breakpoints in opening game and even moved up front, gaining a break advantage in fifth game. Alcaraz needed to catch up the score and made it well by winning 4 games in a row, but especially the last two games of opening set were very intense, ended up after a few deuces. Both of them went for the Grand Slam champion's account, who won this set 6-3. Second one started closer to the expected scenario with Alcaraz running away from the start, but Bautista Agut managed to clear the break gap twice. 12 games were needed to decide this set, but Alcaraz prevailed in decisive moments again, winning the last 10 points of this match and whole the match 6-3 7-5. Another Spaniard waits for Carlitos in quarterfinals, as Alejandro Davidovich Fokina defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4 7-5, achieving his third QF appearance this season.
The ATP 250 event in Estoril could indicate, that Casper Ruud comes back on the right track after miserable start of the season, standing under the sign of unsuccessful hard courts campaign. The Norwegian, for whom clay is the favorite surface, started his clay season perfectly, winning the tournament in Estoril. Despite this, Ruud does not capitalize the momentum, being eliminated by the lower rated opponent in second match of the tournament for the second time in row. After losing to Jan Lenard Struff in Monte Carlo last week, today Ruud got upset by Francisco Cerundolo. The Argentinian, who also prefers playing on clay more than other surfaces, was losing after start of first set expectedly, being 1-4 down with a break advantage for Ruud. The world's number 3 was even serving for the set, but did not make it through despite being *5-4 40-15 up. Cerundolo defended two setpoints during the service game of his opponent and forced the tiebreak, where he occured to be better with a score 7-5. The Argentinian followed the blow, starting the second set well, being 3-0 up with a break advanrage, which he did not slip away. Cerundolo was serving flawlessly since then and faced no single breakpoint till the end of match, which he won 7-6(5) 6-3.
Daniel Evans will be Cerundolo's opponent in the quarters. The second best ranked Brit has also made quite an upset on Karen Khachanov, who was a confident pre-match favorite against Evans, with an odd 1.26. Despite it, the Brit has won both sets with a single break advantage. The match did not bring too many breakpoint chances, but it was Khachanov who produced more - 5 chances, but all of the cleared well by Evans, who broke his opponent twice out of 3 chances created. 6-3 6-4 is the score.
Jannik Sinner experiences some kind of deja vu this week. The Italian played against Diego Schwartzman yestarday, one week after the match with same opponent, which took place in Monte Carlo. Tomorrow, Sinner plays in the quarters against another Italian, Lorenzo Musetti, who was also his quarterfinal's opponent last week. Last time, Sinner dominated his fellowcountry with a condifent 6-2 6-2 win and will be a confident pre-match favorite tomorrow, but today his road to the quarters was quite bumpy. Sinner was a sure favorite against Yoshihito Nishioka and proved his great form in first set, smashing it in just 25 minutes with a score 6-1. Second set was uphill for the world's number 8, as the Japanese started with a break and was on the front foot in really shaky set, which delivered 7 breaks in 10 games. Sinner managed to make up the gap and take the lead after 7 games, but Nishioka broke him twice in a row since then and forced the deciding set. It was no less tight as second phase until 7th game. Sinner raised up his level again while the score was 3-3, and secured his QF spot by winning three games in a row and whole the match 6-1 4-6 6-3. Musetti has also needed 3 sets to advance into quarters, winning the even match against Cameron Norrie. There was no clear pre-match favorite there and both players shared two first sets, but it was the Italian who dominated the decisive one, winning 3-6 6-4 6-1 eventually.
Stefanos Tsitsipas will play against Alex De Minaur tommorow after scoring a routine win today, defeating Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-2 in just 77 minutes. The Aussie moved into quarterfinals without appearing on the court today, as his opponent Grigor Dimitrov withdrew before the match due to illness.
Round of 16 highlights from Barcelona:
Apart from the interesting day in Barcelona, there was also plenty of action in Munich. After yesterday's issues with weather conditions, 8 singles matches were played today in the ATP 250 event. It has almost helped to emerge the line-up of quarterfinals, as the last today's match between Marc Andrea Huesler and Dominic Thiem got suspended with the Swiss being a set up.
The headline of the day in Munich was the early exit of Alexander Zverev. The tournament's 3rd seed was a clear pre-match favorite with an odd 1.16 against Christopher Oconnell. Despite it, it was the Aussie who was on the front foot in both sets which had similar course of events. O'Connell moved up in front, gaining the break advantage early, while Zverev managed to come back on level in both sets. The opening one ended up after tiebreak, won dominantly by the world's number 82 with a score 7-2. Second set got settled with a decisive break in 9th game gained by the Aussie, who won it all 7-6(2) 6-4.
It was definitely not a happy day for home fans, as all the 3 Germans got eliminated today with no one home representative being left in the tournament. Oscar Otte got eliminated by the Italian qualifier, ranked 208th in ATP rankings Fabio Cobolli, who advanced into his first ever QF on ATP level with a score 6-0 3-6 6-3. Yannick Hanfmann had a tough challenge to overcome, playing against the top seed Holger Rune. The finalist of last week's Masters in Monte Carlo did his job well, scoring a confident 6-3 6-4 win.
Thursday's highlights from Munich: