ATP Montpellier: Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov bow out. Gasquet, Lopez advance


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ATP Montpellier: Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov bow out. Gasquet, Lopez advance

Using protected ranking, world no. 132 Vasek Pospisil has made another big step on the comeback trail, beating the 3rd seed Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-3 in swift 56 minutes for the first ATP quarter-final since Antwerp 2018. Shapovalov defeated Pospisil in the second round at the ASB Classic at the beginning of the season but stood no chance in this match, taking six points on the return and failing to repeat those numbers behind the initial shot to suffer three breaks and propel Vasek through.

Finding the rhythm right from the start, Pospisil grabbed a break in game two following a double fault from Shapovalov, serving well and securing the set with another break in game eight for a 6-2. Nothing changed in set number two, with strong serving from the more experienced player and one loose service game from Denis at 2-3 that cost him dearly.

Serving for the triumph at 5-3, Vasek sealed the deal with a service winner to secure the place in the quarter-final, happy with the way he performed against young compatriot. Gregoire Barrere scored a career-best victory, toppling the 4th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-7, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 33 minutes, sending the Bulgarian home much earlier than he expected.

The Frenchman made the difference with the second serve and in the crucial points, fending off seven out of ten break chances and earning five breaks from 14 opportunities, wasting a set point in the opener and a match point at 5-3 in the decider to keep the Bulgarian alive.

Grigor broke back to level the score at 5-5 in the third set before suffering another break that pushed Gregoire 6-5 in front, moving over the top with a hold in the next game for another ATP quarter-final after Metz in September.

Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez took down Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-1 in 69 minutes, fending off both break points he had to play against (22 from 24 on the first serve) and stealing the youngster's serve four times to control the scoreboard and secure the victory in no time at all.

The three-time Montpellier champion Richard Gasquet toppled Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 27 minutes for his first victory since Basel, struggling with a back injury and missing the Australian Open. Richard lost 16 points in ten service games, repelling four out of five break chances and staying in front all the time to finish the job with three breaks on his tally.

Gasquet broke in the very first game to open a 3-1 gap before Simon pulled the break back in game six, creating more chances at 4-3. Richard saved two break points in that eighth game to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard, rattling off the last 11 points for a break at love in the ninth game and the set following that hold at love a few minutes later.

The more accomplish player served well in set number two, breaking Gilles at 2-2 and serving for the win in game ten. Making one last push, Simon earned a break chance that Richard fended off with a forehand winner after a beautiful rally, crossing the finish line with another forehand winner for the place in the second round.