ATP Estoril: Goffin dethrones Sousa. Tiafoe, Jaziri and Cuevas reach QF



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ATP Estoril: Goffin dethrones Sousa. Tiafoe, Jaziri and Cuevas reach QF

Heading to Estoril with a late wild card after another early exit in Barcelona, former world no. 7 Davis Goffin is through to the second ATP quarter-final of the season thanks to a one-sided and much-needed 6-3, 6-2 win over the defending champion Joao Sousa in 80 minutes.

This was the fifth win for the Belgian in six matches against the Portuguese, placing 76% of the first serve in and getting broken twice from as many chances he gave to Joao. Unlike in some other matches in 2019, his return worked great and he won 55% of the points behind Joao's serve, earning six breaks from 13 chances to move into the quarters where he will face Malek Jaziri.

Goffin broke four times in a row in the opener and sealed the deal with four straight games at 2-2 in set number two, taking the last four games to book the place in the next round. The 35-year-old Malek Jaziri has not been playing that well this year, scoring four wins before Estoril where he advanced into the second quarter-final in 2019 with a 7-6, 6-1 triumph over Leonardo Mayer.

The Tunisian barely lost some points behind the initial shot, facing only one break point and converting two breaks on the other hand from as many opportunities for the best result on clay since Istanbul last year. Despite a tie break, the opening set lasted for less than 50 minutes, with no deuces or break chances before the deciding part that Jaziri won 7-2, dropping only five points on serve in the entire set.

He had the momentum on his side now, breaking Mayer in games two and six in set number two to secure the place in the next round. The 8th seed and the last year's finalist Frances Tiafoe had to work hard to oust Yoshihito Nishioka 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours and 25 minutes, getting broken five times and scoring just three points more than the Japanese.

Nishioka played impressive tennis in the opening 12 games, forging a 6-2, 3-1 advantage as he barely missed a ball in that period. Out of sudden, Tiafoe picked up his game, winning five games in a row to turn the scoreboard around in set number two and opening the lead in the decider as well.

Trailing 5-3, Yoshihito fought back once again, fending off two match points at 4-5 and moving 5-3 up in the breaker before Taifoe claimed four straight points to cross the finish line first and stay in contention. A lucky loser Pablo Cuevas is through to the fifth ATP quarter-final of the season following a 6-2, 7-5 win over another lucky loser Filippo Baldi in an hour and 27 minutes.

The Uruguayan lost only 14 points in ten service games, keeping the pressure on the young Italian and securing three breaks to book his place in the last eight with a late break in set number two.