Three out of the top-5 seed at the ATP 250 event in Cagliari reached the quarter-final on Wednesday and remained on the title course. The 2nd seed Taylor Fritz toppled Andrej Martin 6-2, 7-6 in an hour and 33 minutes, taking half of the return points to bring the victory home in straight sets.
The American suffered three breaks and delivered five to remain in front, overcoming a 5-3 and 6-5 deficit in set number two to move over the top in the tie break and avoid a decider. The Slovak made a great start and grabbed a break in game three with a powerful forehand.
Martin wasted a chance to move 3-1 up and got broken in that fourth game when his forehand landed wide, sending momentum to the other side. Fritz served well in games five and seven and took charge on the return, moving 4-2 up when Martin hit a double fault in game six and closing the opener with the third straight break at 5-2.
Andrej started all over in set number two and scored a break in game five that sent him in front. He served for the set at 5-4 but couldn't bring it home, netting a drop shot to move Taylor back to 5-5. The Slovak secured another break in game 11, but it wasn't to be for him, as the American pulled the break back again and claimed the tie break 7-4, following the rival's forehand mistake.
Taylor Fritz, Jan-Lennard Struff and Nikoloz Basilashvili won on Wednesday.
The 4th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili took down Jozef Kovalik 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 after grueling three hours, in the first ATP match with 17 breaks since 2016!
The seeded player won six points more and came from a set down to cross the finish line first in a thrilling decider, saving five match points at 4-5! Kovalik led 3-1 and 4-2 in the final set before Basilashvili erased the deficit for more drama.
Jozef had a massive chance to bring the victory home in the tenth game, squandering those five match points and dropping the final three games to stay empty-handed. The 5th seed Jan-Lennard Struff ousted a qualifier Liam Broady 6-4, 6-2 in 81 minutes, losing serve once and seizing all four opportunities on the return to sail over the top.