John Millman had to work hard defending his title at the Astana Open, but the Australian fought for the quarter-finals.
The fifth seed beat Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-5 after three hours and nine minutes on Wednesday to reach the last eight at Nur-Sultan. Millman, who also needed three sets in his first-round match on Tuesday, is now 6-0 at the ATP 250.
“These long matches are not good in my old age, I tell you!” Millman said in his post-game interview. “But look, it was such a physical battle there. I thought the level was extremely good. I thought I improved from yesterday in terms of play. But Mr. Munar, he’s a tough competitor. .
“His body probably dropped him a bit towards the end. I have to tell you that my body was not feeling very well either. It was such a physical game and so happy to extend my stay here.
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The seed, Aslan Karatsev, learned about his first opponent when Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori qualified for the second round. The world No.84 was leading Benjamin Bonzi 6-2 when the Frenchman retired. Bonzi has won six ATP Challenger Tour titles this year.
“I think it will be a fun game,” Ruusuvuori said of Karatsev. “We know he’s playing at a high level so it will be a good test to see what level I can take on the pitch tomorrow.”
Seventh seed Laslo Djere also moved on, beating #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4 after two hours and 48 minutes. The Serbian will then face his compatriot Dusan Lajovic, third seed, or South Korean Soonwoo Kwon.
In another action, eighth seed Ilya Ivashka ousted Kazakh wild card Timofey Skatov 6-2, 6-3 and Spaniard Carlos Taberner knocked out Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 7-5, 6-4.
– Report contributed by Courtney Walsh