British number two Cameron Norrie reached the ASB Classic quarter-finals after 95-minutes with a straight-set victory over Portugal’s Joao Sousa in Auckland.
“I really wanted to get the win on him. I knew I could Taylor Fritz
World number 93 Norrie saved all the six points he faced as he beat the player ranked 49 places above him to record a satisfying 7-6(4) 6-4 win.
He will face next the 50th-ranked Taylor Fritz in the last eight after the American stunned top seed John Isner 7-6(3) 7-6(5).
The big-serving Isner, ranked 10th in the world, fired 26 aces but struggled on his second serve as Fritz took full advantage to edge the match in an hour and 39 minutes.
“I really wanted to get the win on him. I knew I could,” said Fritz. “We had a lot of close points and it just feels really good to get through that,” Fritz said.
The 21-year-old converted one out of three break points and saved three on his serve.
“I like to think that one of my strengths is playing under pressure and playing the big moments well,” Fritz added.
“More often than not, the matches I lose, that’s where I get let down. So I’m happy to start the year … playing well under pressure and handling those big moments well.”
Meanwhile David Ferrer, a four time Classic champion who is playing Auckland for the last time as he intends to retire in a few months time, was forced to retire from his second round match with Pablo Carreno Busta with a calf injury after just two games.