Tsitsipas books quarterfinal berth

Stefanos Tsitsipas headlined Thursday’s second-round action at the Hamburg European Open with a 7-5, 6-4 win over qualifier Pablo Cuevas. The No. 2 seed at the ATP 500 clay-court event saved all five break points he faced and converted both of his own two break point opportunities to improve to 3-0 against the 34-year-old Uruguayan.

“I have a lot of respect for him. He is a very difficult opponent to face, particularly on this surface,” Tsitsipas told Barbara Schett in his on-court interview. “He is a good friend and one of my idols growing up. It was a great match and I enjoyed it. There was a certain point in the match when I forgot I needed to win, as I was enjoying the game and the atmosphere, the crowd. I was playing with positive vibes and energy.”

Tsitsipas will next take on Dusan Lajovic of Serbia. “It will be another match against a single backhander,” the World No. 6 from Greece commented on his upcoming opponent. “He is a very good player on clay. I played him in the past and I need to stay focused every single point. He plays a very tactical, smart game and I have to overcome a lot of challenges tomorrow.”

Lajovic defeats Khachanov

Earlier on Center Court, Lajovic cruised past No. 8 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia, winning 6-1, 6-2 in only 62 minutes.

„We played three times before and it was more of a mental game today,” Lajovic said. “He gave me some free points in the beginning, and I started to build up some confidence. I played a good match and hope to continue like this.”

Earning a spot in the quarterfinals at the Rothenbaum tournament will help Lajovic to get some rhythm for the upcoming French Open: “We didn’t play a lot in the past three months. The more matches you get, the better it is in terms of preparation for Roland Garros.”

Humbert to face Ruud

Ugo Humbert’s run in Hamburg gathers momentum, as he has backed up his excellent win on Tuesday against top seed Daniil Medvedev with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely. The 22-year-old Frenchman won 55 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 45 minutes.

Humbert will next face Norwegian young gun Casper Ruud, who knocked off No. 6 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy by the score of 6-3, 6-3 in 67 minutes.

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