- ATP Tour
Verdasco avoids trouble as some seeds struggle
Top seed Fernando Verdasco was made to sweat before eventually storming to a three-set victory over the unpredictable Ernests Gulbis at the Croatia Open on Thursday.
The Spaniard was outworked in the second set as Gulbis set up a decider, but got his act together in time to run out a comfortable 6-2 3-6 6-1 winner.
Two other seeds also booked their passage into the quarter-finals with some ease, as Alexandr Dolgopolov and Carlos Berlocq beat Fabio Fognini and qualifier Marco Trungellliti respectively.
One wildcard remains in the field in Umag, however, after Andrey Kuznetsov dominated Mate Pavic in a one-sided opening set tiebreak before cruising away with a 7-6(0) 6-1 victory.
At the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Rhode Island, both Leyton Hewitt and Rajeev Ram booked their places in the semi-finals after victories over Dudi Selaand Kei Nishikori respectively.
It remains to be seen who will join them in the final four - but it will not be third seed Milos Raonic, after he suffered a shock defeat to Benjamin Becker in the tournament's second round. Sixth seed Ryan Harrison is into the quarter-finals, however, after ending Jesse Levine's hopes with a 6-3 6-4 performance.
Elswhere, at the Mercedes Cup there was something of a shock as third seed Bernard Tomic was beaten in straight sets by Thomaz Bellucci.
Tomic, who admitted his work ethic was lacking after his early exit from Wimbledon, had no answer for the Brazilian once he dropped the opening tiebreak, eventually succumbing to a 7-6(6) 6-3 defeat.
Second seed Juan Monaco had no such problems against Tobias Kamke - but eighth seed Tommy Haas did, losing to qualifier Pavol Cervenak 6-4 6-4 in Stuttgart as his tournament was abruptly ended.
Finally, at the Swedish Open there were no surprises as seeds Albert Ramos, Grigor Dimitrov and Nicolas Almagro all booked their place in the next round - with only second seed Almagro finding some trouble as qualifier Ivo Minar forced him to a third set.