Albert Ramos-Vinolas is up and running at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag after edging through a hard-fought battle with Croatian wild card Duje Ajdukovic 7-5, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals.
The Estoril champion saved four break points and won 70 per cent of points behind his first serve to take down Ajdukovic, who was seeking his second-ever win at a tour-level event. The Spaniard snapped a seven-match losing streak in the process, as he claimed his first tour-level singles win since the Mutua Madrid Open against the 20-year-old. He will next face Italian Stefano Travaglia, who charged past Carlos Taberner 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 41 minutes.
With 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic watching on – days after the former World No. 2 was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport – Ajdukovic fought back from a 0-3 deficit in the first set. He employed big groundstrokes and changed direction of the ball to keep Ramos-Vinolas under pressure.
But the experienced Spaniard took the lead in the seventh game as he saved two break points to move 4-3 ahead. Ramos-Vinolas kept the scoreboard pressure on the young Croatian, who double faulted and produced unforced errors to hand over the decisive break late in the set. In the second set, Ramos-Vinolas rallied from a break down and won five of the next six games from 1-3 to seal the victory.[WATCH LIVE 1]
Also in action in Umag, fourth seed Richard Gasquet defeated Italian qualifier Alessandro Giannessi 7-6(4), 6-4 to reach his third quarter-final of the year. The 35-year-old enjoyed an impressive serving performance against Giannessi, as he did not face a break point and won 85 per cent (33/39) of his first-serve points. In the first set, he only dropped four points on serve.
He awaits the winner of Marco Cecchinato and Damir Dzumhur in the quarter-finals, as he seeks his fourth clay-court title and his first since 2015 in Estoril.