STARNBERG, October 14, 2020
Dennis Novak headlined Wednesday’s second-round action at the bett1HULKS Indoors by knocking out Frenchman Benoit Paire, No. 4 seed of the ATP 250 tournament held at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne. The 27-year-old Austrian secured a 6-3, 6-4 victory in one hour and four minutes.
Novak, who broke into Top 100 of ATP Rankings in January and achieved career-high World No. 85 two months later, capitalized on four of his eight break-point chances to earn his 19th match win and first quarterfinal on the ATP Tour.
“It was important to focus on myself today and I think that I played a solid match,” Novak told Markus Zoecke in his post-match on-court interview. The current World No. 94 will next take on the winner of the encounter between Spanish youngster Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and No. 8 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Albot ends Otte’s run
Earlier in the day, Radu Albot became the first player to reach the stage of the final eight after his 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 victory over qualifier and Cologne native Oscar Otte. The 30-year-old from Moldova saved nine of the 13 break points he faced and converted five of his own break point chances en route to his first ATP Tour quarterfinal since the Abierto de Tenis Los Cabos in Mexico in August last year.
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“All the matches are tough. Everybody’s playing good tennis,” Albot said. “I didn’t have so many wins this year, but hopefully more wins will come in the future.”
Up next for the Chisinau native will be either No. 3 seed and #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime or Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen.
Hubert Hurkacz from Poland also booked his spot in the quarterfinals. The No. 6 seed defeated German wild card entry Mischa Zverev won 55 per cent of the total points played to prevail 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 25 minutes.
“Mischa is a great player. It’s not easy to play against him, especially because he has great volleys,” said Hurkacz. “He can come in on most of the balls, so it’s really tricky to play him. I’m happy with my victory today.”
Hurkacz will next meet the winner of the match between second seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut and French veteran Gilles Simon.