Gasquet, Nishioka Move Into Cincinnati Quarter-finals
Nishioka doesn’t experience letdown after Nishikori win
Richard Gasquet turned back the clock in a vintage performance on Thursday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the quarter-finals.
Gasquet, who underwent groin surgery in January, competed with great intelligence to record a 7-6(6), 6-3 victory over Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in one hour and 48 minutes.
The 33-year-old Frenchman recovered from 2/5 down in the first set tie-break and saved two set points from 4/6, prior to taking a 3-0 lead in the second set. He booked a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final since April 2018 at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters with a forehand winner — his 34th of the match. Gasquet won 42 of his 77 points in rallies under five strokes.
He will next face Spanish No. 11 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, the recent Wimbledon semi-finalist (l. to Djokovic) or qualifier Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia. Bautista Agut can break into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time if he wins.
Earlier in the day, Yoshihito Nishioka continued his fairytale run to reach his first Masters 1000 quarter-final.
Twenty-four hours after beating his hero, fellow Japanese Kei Nishikori, for the first Top 10 victory of his career, the 23-year-old qualifier worked his way past #NextGenATP Australian Alex de Minaur 7-5, 6-4 in 83 minutes. He will next face Belgian No. 16 seed David Goffin or Adrian Mannarino of France on Friday.
One break of serve in each set was enough for Nishioka to beat De Minaur, who won 28 of 32 first-service points. Nishioka beat Australian John Millman and Portuguese Joao Sousa to qualify for the main draw of his seventh Masters 1000 tournament, then defeated another Aussie in Jordan Thompson in the first round.
The 20-year-old De Minaur drops to a 20-14 match record on the season that includes two ATP Tour titles at the Sydney International (d. Seppi) and BB&T Atlanta Open (d. Fritz).
See Where To Watch The Western & Southern Open