The Sofia Open, the last ATP 250 event on the 2020 ATP Tour calendar, has suffered a series of upsets with the top seed Denis Shapovalov, crashing out in his opening round to Moldovia’s Radu Albot 6-2 6-4 and then joined yesterday, by his Canadian compatriot, the second seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime, world ranked 21, who was defeated by the 82 ranked Italian Salvatore Caruso 6-4 6-4
I was feeling very confident not just with my serve but my strokes from the baseline and I didn't make any mistake Salvatore Caruso
Canada though, still has a representative left in the draw to fly the Maple Leaf, namely the unseeded Vasek Pospisil who ousted the German fourth seed, Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-4.
But it was the Italy’s day for Jannik Sinner joined Caruso in the last eight having eased past the Swiss Lucky Loser entry, Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-3 6-4.
“I think I played a really solid match; my serve was very solid today, I was feeling very confident not just with my serve but my strokes from the baseline and I didn’t make any mistake,” Caruso commented after he progressed into the quarter-finals.
“Energy level is good, I feel great on court, sometimes I prefer to play back to back because I stay more in the rhythm, feel the court a little better. Physically I feel well, and I am ready for tomorrow”, Sinner said as he looked ahead to a meeting with the third seed from Australia, Alex de Minaur, a 6-4 7-6(5) winner over Russian qualifier Asian Karatsev.
“Very happy with the win today against a very tough opponent. It was a very tricky match and I am very happy I was able to get the win and have a very positive start to the Sofia Open,” de Minaur commented.
His next match against Sinner should provide an interesting quarter-final clash, as should Caruso’s meeting with Richard Gasquet, the veteran Frenchman who beat the Czech wildcard Dimitar Jonas Forejtek 6-4 6-2.
But the big clash of the last eight will undoubtedly be between Pospisil and the sixth seed who, a week ago, won the Astana Open in Kazakhstan, John Millman. The Australian was given a tough workout by the wily French veteran Gilles Simon 7-5 6-7(3) 6-2, which at three hours and 15-minutes becomes the longest match in event’s history.
“I’m happy that I won. I’m happy that I get to stay here longer, and I just need to recover,” a not surprisingly weary Millman said.
The fourth quarter-final will be played between Albot and Adrian Mannarino, the French fifth seed who progressed past Belarussian Egor Gerasimov 6-4 7-6(5).