ATP Cordoba: Corentin Moutet downs Guido Pella. Cristian Garin and Pablo Cuevas win



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ATP Cordoba: Corentin Moutet downs Guido Pella. Cristian Garin and Pablo Cuevas win

The 3rd seed Cristian Garin took a wild card to enter the draw in Cordoba following a rough start of the season, beating Attila Balazs 6-3, 6-0 in 68 minutes to secure the spot in the quarters. Chilean lost only eight points behind the initial shot, never facing a break point and mounting the pressure on the other side of the net that Balazs couldn't endure, facing no less than 16 break chances and giving serve away five times to find himself in front of the exit door.

Garin forged the advantage with breaks in games five and nine in the opening set, barely losing a point behind the initial shot in set number two and delivering three breaks for a bagel and an easy day at the office. In the best match of the day, the young Frenchman Corentin Moutet took down the 2nd seed Guido Pella 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 in grueling three hours, advancing into the second quarter-final of the season following Doha where he competed for the first ATP title.

Corentin won seven points more than Guido, suffering five breaks and breaking the Argentine seven times from ten chances to cross the finish line first despite the fact Pella served for the victory in set number two. The home player had a 5-3 advantage in the opener, squandering a set point and allowing Moutet to climb back and reach a tie break that Gudo clinched 7-4 with a volley winner after more than 70 minutes of play.

The Frenchman raced into a 4-0 lead in set number two before Pella rattled off five straight games, serving for the victory at 5-4 and moving two points away from the finish line. Nonetheless, Corentin pulled the break back to level the score at 5-5, securing another break in the 12th game to set the deciding set after more than two and a half hours of thrilling battle.

Carried by this momentum, Moutet produced four rock-solid holds in the final set and grabbed a break in the fourth game following a costly double fault from Pella, fending off a break chance at 5-3 with a drop shot winner and sealing the deal with a service winner two points later to stay on the title course.

The 6th seed Pablo Cuevas defeated Gianluca Mager 6-7, 7-6, 6-1 in two hours and 19 minutes, overcoming a 7-6, 5-3 deficit and dominating in the decider for the first quarter-final since Kitzbuhel last summer. Mager wasted two set points in the tenth game of the opener, staying focused and closing it in the tie break before opening that 5-3 gap in set number two.

With no room for errors, Pablo broke back in the tenth game to stay alive, taking the tie break 7-2 and bringing the final set home in some 20 minutes with three breaks to move into the next round. Andrey Martin and Carlos Taberner fought for two hours, with the Slova scoring a 6-3, 7-6 triumph to find himself in the last eight.

Martin fended off all four break chances and stole the rival's serve once in the opener, converting the third match point in the second set tie break to avoid more time spent on the court and preserve energy for the next clash against Moutet on Friday.