ATP St. Petersburg: Gerasimov tops Mannarino. Ruud, Sousa and Kukushkin win


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ATP St. Petersburg: Gerasimov tops Mannarino. Ruud, Sousa and Kukushkin win

A qualifier Egor Gerasimov has enjoyed a great run in St. Petersburg so far, defeating the 7th seed Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-1 in 67 minutes for the first quarter-final since Moscow last year. Egor lost 13 points in eight service games, fending off all three break chances and storming over his opponent on the return to grab four breaks from ten opportunities, claiming the opening set with a single break and delivering three more in set number two to march over the top and advance into the last eight.

The 6th seed Mikhail Kukushkin toppled Damir Dzumhur 7-6, 6-2 in an hour and 41 minutes, fending off four out of five break points and stealing the rival's serve three times from ten chances to seal the deal in straight sets.

Damir led 4-2 in the opener before Mikhail erased the deficit in the very next game, taking the tie break 7-2 and escaping from a tough situation at the beginning of the second set to grab it with breaks in games four and eight for the first quarter-final since Los Cabos in August.

The 20-year-old Casper Ruud defeated Alexander Bublik 6-7 6-4, 6-2 in just over two hours, losing serve once and mounting the pressure on the other side of the net. Bublik had more winners but also more errors (ten double faults alone), taking only 11 points on the return in sets two and three and playing better and better as the encounter progressed to make a winning start and book the spot in the last 16.

In the Italian clash, Salvatore Caruso toppled Thomas Fabbiano 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 56 minutes, delivering five breaks and shifting into a higher gear at 3-3 in the decider to cross the finish line first and secure the sixth ATP win in 2019.

Marton Fucsovics had to work hard in the opening set to break Alexey Vatutin's resistance, notching a 7-5, 6-1 triumph in an hour and 27 minutes. The Russian led 5-1 in the opener and wasted no less than five set points in games seven and eight, allowing the Hungarian to perform a complete comeback and steal the set 7-5.

With the momentum on his side, Marton barely lost a point behind the initial shot in set number two, breaking Vatutin three times to reach the second round. Joao Sousa was too strong for Jozef Kovalik, scoring a 6-2, 6-3 win in an hour and 11 minutes after a dominant display on both serve and return, getting broken once but earning five breaks that kept him in front all the time.