The 5th seed and last year's Shanghai semi-finalist Alexander Zverev is through to the 14th Masters 1000 quarter-final, beating Andrey Rublev 6-0, 7-6 in an hour and 24 minutes. It was the third win for Zverev in as many matches against his good friend and junior doubles partner, setting the clash against Roger Federer on Friday and staying in contention for the place at the ATP Finals in a mighty close battle for the last two spots in London.
The encounter had two phases, the first with Zverev as the dominant figure that opened a 6-0, 5-2 advantage and the second where Rubelv bounced back to reach a tie break that Zverev won 7-4 and move through in straight sets.
The German had 32 winners and 28 unforced errors, keeping the points on his racquet and leaving Andrey on a 12-25 ratio, firing 17 aces and fending off five out of seven break chances to keep the pressure on his opponent.
Rublev lost half of the points in his games, getting broken five times from ten opportunities offered to Zverev and losing ground in the quickest and mid-range exchanges to propel Alexander into the quarters. The German saved a break point in the first game of the match and broke Andrey with a return winner in game two, settling into an excellent rhythm and taking all six games for a bagel in under half an hour.
Unable to find his range, Rublev suffered another break in the second game of the second set when his backhand landed long, wasting three break chances in the next game before pulling a break back two games later when Alexander sprayed a forehand error.
Zverev broke again to extend the gap to 4-2, serving for the win at 5-3 and giving serve away in the worst possible moment, just like many times in 2019. Andrey was back on track now, reaching a tie break that Alexander grabbed 7-4 with a backhand down the line winner that propelled him into the last eight.
Dominic Thiem is also through to the 14th Masters 1000 quarter-final, toppling Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 17 minutes. Both players had more unforced errors than winners but Thiem had the upper hand in the crucial elements, losing serve twice and earning four breaks to forge the advantage, also dominating with his initial shot and in the shortest rallies up to four strokes.
The Austrian broke in the fourth game when the Georgian sent a backhand long, hitting a loose forehand in the next game to give serve away and keep Nikoloz on the positive side of the scoreboard. At 3-3, Dominic took 12 of the last 15 points, breaking at 4-3 when Basilashvili hit a double fault and closing the set with four service winners for a 6-3.
With the momentum on his side, Thiem raced into a 5-2 lead in set number two with a double break, failing to serve out for the win in the eighth game before landing five winners at 5-4 to move into the next round and stay on the course for the second Masters 1000 crown.
In the longest match of the day, Stefanos Tsitsipas added more fuel to his ATP Finals plans with a hard-fought 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 triumph over Hubert Hurkacz in two hours and 13 minutes. The Pole gave his best to cause an upset and set Novak Djokovic clash, winning one point more than Stefanos and standing close to the finish line in sets he lost to suffer a tough loss and propel Stefanos through.
There was only one break on each side in the entire encounter and it was Hubert who had the opportunity to grab the opener, creating two set points at 5-4. The Greek repelled both with winners, earning a break in the next game and sealing the set with a service winner at 6-5 after 40 minutes.
Hubert stood strong in set number two, dropping five points on serve and breaking in game two to forge the lead, confirming it with a powerful forehand at 5-3 to set up a decider. There, we saw 12 commanding holds for a deciding tie break that Stefanos won 7-5 after an unreturned serve to roar into the quarter-final and notch the second notable week after playing in the final in Beijing on Sunday.