The top three seeds have all fallen in the second round in Antwerp, damaging their chances of securing a spot at the ATP Finals in London. An 18-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner earned a wild card and used it with both hands, toppling world no.
13 Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2 in an hour, becoming the first player born in 2001 in the ATP quarter-final. The youngster served at 48% but no one could have noticed that, dropping ten points in his games and fending off the only break chance he faced to mount the pressure on the other side of the net and force Monfils to repeat that if he wanted to stay in contention.
The last year's finalist was far from those numbers, spraying too many errors and losing almost half of the points in his games, getting broken four times from ten chances offered to the Italian who delivered incredible tennis from both wings to outplay the better-ranked and the more experienced player completely.
Jannik went for his shots right from the start, securing a break in the first game with a forehand winner and hitting three winners in the next game to confirm it and move 2-0 up. Monfils had to save two break points in the third game to avoid an even bigger deficit and fired a forehand winner to erase another break chance at 1-3 to stay one break behind.
Sinner lost four points in his games and that opened the door for him to attack on the return, sealing the first set with another break in game nine when Monfils netted a forehand for a 6-3 after 31 minutes. Jannik had to save a break point in the first game of the second set, gathering even stronger boost and forging the advantage with a break in game four thanks to a loose volley from Gael.
There was nothing the Frenchman could do on the return after that first game, barely winning any point and pushing Jannik into the first ATP quarter-final after another break he suffered in the eighth game, drifting further and further away from the ATP Finals.
Frances Tiafoe is through to the fifth quarter-final of the season, beating the 7th seed Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 18 minutes. The American fended off six out of seven break chances to limit the damage in his games, erasing all six in the first set and taking it with a break in game six.
Tiafoe grabbed a couple of breaks in set number two to move 4-2 up, wasting a match point on the return in game nine before sealing the deal with a service winner a few minutes later for the place in the last eight. A qualifier Marius Copil took down the 3rd seed Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 in two hours and 41 minutes for the first quarter-final of the season.
As the result suggests, it was a mighty close encounter with just two points more on the Romanian's tally, with four breaks of serve for both and a match point that Diego saved in the tenth game of the decider. He even had a break point in the next game that Marius repelled, converting the fourth match point in the tie break at 8-7 to stay on the title course.
The 2nd seed David Goffin is miles away from the ATP Finals following a convincing 6-3, 6-1 loss to Ugo Humbert in 67 minutes. The youngster controlled the pace in his games, saving the only break chance he had to play against and stealing David's serve four times to sail into the quarters.
Ugo delivered the first break in the sixth game after a backhand error from David who could have pulled the break in the very next game, denied by Humbert who forced a mistake from the opponent at 5-3 to grab the opener in 33 minutes.
Never finding the desired rhythm, Goffin suffered a break in the first game of the second set, netting another easy forehand in game five to fall further behind and sending Ugo over the top after handing him the third break in the seventh game, losing early in front of the home fans with a pale performance.