The rain plagued the action in Auckland on Tuesday and it was a packed day on Wednesday, with 11 singles matches up and running. The Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez enjoyed a great day at the office, edging Pablo Andujar in two and a half hours before taking down the top seed Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in just under two hours to reach the quarters.
Lopez blasted 17 aces, fending off one out of three break points and earning three breaks to cross the finish line first with an early break in the deciding set. The 6th seed Hubert Hurkacz has stayed on the winning course after the ATP Cup, beating a qualifier Mikael Ymer 6-2, 7-6 in an hour and 35 minutes.
The Pole fended off both break points he faced, delivering two breaks in the opener and prevailing in the second set tie break after a great performance from both players. John Millman took down the 3rd seed Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 50 minutes, recovering after the first set and racing towards the finish line with three breaks in the decider, pumped and motivated after a notable performance at the ATP Cup.
The 5th seed Benoit Paire defeated a qualifier Thiago Monteiro 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, dropping only 15 points behind the initial shot in sets two and three and turning the tables to find himself in the quarters. Kyle Edmund defeated Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-6 in an hour and 35 minutes, sailing through his service games in the opener and coming from a 4-1 down in set number two to grab it in the tie break and seal the deal in straight sets.
The 4th seed and a former champion John Isner had a terrible run down under in the last couple of years, heading to Auckland after a terrible ATP Cup run and eager to grab some wins before Melbourne. John defeated the defending champion Tennys Sandgren 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 in two hours and 15 minutes, never losing serve and bouncing back after a tough second tie break to seal the deal with two breaks in the deciding set.
Ugo Humbert needed less than an hour to oust tired Marco Cecchinato 6-1, 6-4, with the Italian having to survive three tie breaks and three hours in the first match. The 2nd seed Denis Shapovalov needed an hour and 51 minutes to beat Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-6, winning three points more than his rival and prevailing with one break more on his tally.
Denis broke in the third game when Vasek netted a backhand, serving well in the rest of the set and sealing the opener with an ace in game ten. They traded breaks in games seven and eight in set number two and it was Shapovalov who claimed the tie break 7-2 to move over the top and advance into the quarters.