MARSEILLE, February 18, 2016
Second seed Tomas Berdych headlined the action on Day 4 of the Open 13, as the world number eight returned to Marseille for the first time since 2013 when he finished runner-up, losing the final to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Berdych faced the youngest player in the ATP World Tour top-100, 18-year-old wild card Alexander Zverev, who is ranked at career high number 56 after coming off a quarterfinal in Rotterdam. The number one Czech had to go the distance in his first match since the Australian Open, winning 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to reach the stage of the final eight. Berdych won 81% of his first service points and converted four of his eight break point chances to prevail in two hours and seven minutes.
“It was a great battle and I had to fight to the last point. The progress of the young players is almost extreme,” told Berdych, who also won the only previous meeting with Zverev in Stockholm 2015 and will now play David Goffin on Friday.
The 2014 champion Ernests Gulbis renewed acquaintances with third seed Richard Gasquet. Both players met for the second time this month when the Frenchman won in Montpellier’s second round, and also the second time in Marseille when Gasquet beat Gulbis in the semis en-route to eventually capture the title. It was the pair’s fifth match overall with Gasquet extending his head to head record over the Latvian to 4-1. The world number 10 won 52% of the total points to gain a 7-6, 6-3 victory in one hour and 43 minutes.
Gasquet is going to face Marseille debutant Nick Kyrgios next. The 20-year-old Australian beat his doubles partner Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-4 in 71 minutes. Later the day, they teamed up together to oust Martin Draganja and Julian Knowle 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semis.
A quarterfinal against number four seed Marin Cilic awaits Andrey Kuznetsov. The 24-year-old Russian defeated 19-year-old French wild card Quentin Halys, who had claimed his second ATP World Tour-level match win of his career over lucky loser David Guez in the opening round.
Kuznetsov clinched a comfortable 6-0, 6-4 victory, winning the opening set in only 25 minutes and Halys had to wait until the start of the second frame to make it on the scoreboard. The world number 54 from Tula didn’t face a single break point and converted four of his own to serve the match out after only 56 minutes.
One Frenchman was guaranteed to reach the quarterfinals as qualifier Vincent Millot took on eighth seed Benoit Paire. The latter hit 10 aces and won 84% of his first service points to celebrate a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory in one hour and 35 minutes earning the right to face the tournament’s number one Stan Wawrinka next.