ATP VALENCIA: Steve Johnson upsets Feliciano Lopez, Fognini and Paire also out

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ATP VALENCIA: Steve Johnson upsets Feliciano Lopez, Fognini and Paire also out

It was a great day for German qualifiers in Valencia, as both Daniel Brands and Mischa Zverev reached quarter-final (first ATP tournament with 2 Germans in last 8 after Stuttgart in June).

Big server Brands easily passed Albert Montanes, who made the main draw after David Ferrer decided to withdraw from the tournament. Interestingly, they played in the last qualifying round, and German was better in that match too.

Daniel had no troubles on serve today, stopping Montanes to reach even deuce on return, and on the other hand he broke twice in each set for a convincing 6-2 6-2 win in just 52 minutes. This will be the first ATP quarter-final for Brands after Doha at the beginning of 2014.

Mischa Zverev continued his good form, beating fourth seed Fabio Fognini 6-2 7-6. In terms of ranking, this was his biggest win since Shanghai 2010, when he took down Nikolay Davydenko. In the first set he saved one break point in his weaker service game and broke the Italian twice for an easy 6-2.

Fognini raised his level in second set, and after exchanging breaks at the start of the set they both held easily, with German winning in tie break 7-3. American Steve Johnson keeps winning as he delivered another consistent performance and he reached his second quarter-final in as many weeks, and seventh in 2015.

He beat second seed Feliciano Lopez for the second time in his career, by 6-4 7-6. Steve broke to love at the very first game of the match, keeping the advantage until the end of the set. Lopez served better from that moment on but couldn't create break point opportunities.

Johnson broke again in the third game of the second set, sailing through his service games until the tenth game when he served for the match. Lopez broke for the first time in that moment, but was not able to keep the momentum, as the American held his nerves in tie break for yet another very solid win.

Portuguese Joao Sousa reached his sixth quarter-final appearance of the season after knocking out fifth seed Benoit Paire. Frenchman once again struggled to find his first serve, and Sousa created a huge number of break points, 18 in total.

Paire saved 13, but couldn't do that in the third set when he lost his serve twice and ended up being defeated 6-3 2-6 6-3. After a first round match againt Granollers, it was clear that Rublev would have needed to play much better if he had wanted to stand a chance against Bautista Agut, but it was just not meant to be.

The Spaniard, second seed of the tournament, got a convincing success by 6-2 6-3, dominating in all segments. Roberto lost only 5 points on serve in the first set, breaking Rublev in the sixth and eighth game of first set. Second set started in similar terms, with Rublev unable to compete with Spaniard's groundstrokes from both wings, as he lost serve for the third time in a row.

Bautista Agut quickly gained a 4-1 advantage, having lost zero points in first three service games. Rublev missed 3 break chances in the seventh game to somehow get back in the set, but this just was not his day. Seventh seed, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez also qualified for quarter-finals after expected win over Japanese Taro Daniel who trains and lives in Valencia.

It was not a very good match on slow courts, with Spaniard serving at only 40% and Daniel not used to Indoor conditions (he is by far best on clay courts). They created 23 break points in total, with Garcia-Lopez breaking 6 times for 6-3 6-4 win.

Daniel payed price for his weak second serve, winning only 28% of these points, but he also didn't take advantage of being u a break in the second set, having lost final four games of the match. Second round results : [Q]Daniel Brands vs [LL]Albert Montanes 6-2 6-2 (52)
[Q]Mischa Zverev vs [4]Fabio Fognini 6-2 7-6 (1:18)
Steve Johnson vs [2]Feliciano Lopez 6-4 7-6 (1:14)
Joao Sousa vs [5]Benoit Paire 6-3 2-6 6-3 (1:46)
[2]Roberto Bautista Agut vs [WC]Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-3 (1:08)
[6]Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs [Q]Taro Daniel 6-3 6-4 (1:45) ALSO READ: WTA FINALS - Flavia Pennetta loses to Maria Sharapova and ends her career .