“To beat a player like Cilic is very important for me, so I’m very happy for this,” said Cuevas. “It was a very tough match, but I have confidence and fought for every ball today.”
Cuevas served to stay in the match at 4-5 and 5-6 in the second set. He then faced a match point at 5/6 in the tie-break, but Cilic pushed a forehand wide and Cuevas evened the score two points later. The Croatian saved a pair of match points in each of his service games at 4-5 and 5-6, but Cuevas hit a passing shot winner on his sixth match point to advance after three hours and 13 minutes.
The World No. 73 in the ATP Rankings reached at least the quarter-finals at three other ATP Tour clay-court events this year (Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro) and won last week’s clay-court ATP Challenger Tour event in Tunis without dropping a set. Cuevas will next play Matteo Berrettini of Italy, who saved two set points in beating Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 7-6(8), 6-2.
Meanwhile, Cilic’s struggles continue this season. The World No. 11 in the ATP Rankings has won only one of his past seven matches.
Second seed Borna Coric survived a tricky encounter with Dutchman Robin Haase to advance 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. The Croatian has reached at least the quarter-finals in four of his past five tournaments. He’ll play Filip Krajinovic for a place in the last four after the Serbian qualifier defeated eighth seed Radu Albot of Moldova 7-5, 6-4.
“I started very well in the match, but was not putting so much pressure on him in the second set and he started to play better,” said Coric. “I just stayed calm and started to play better at the end of the match.”
Fourth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Germany recovered from a shocking second set in which he only won eight points to defeat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 6-3, 0-6, 6-3. He’ll play fifth seed Laslo Djere of Serbia, who sprinted past Italian teenager Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-1. Sinner, 17, won his first ATP Tour main draw match on Wednesday.
Begemann/Gulbis Oust Top Seeds
All four doubles quarter-finals took place on Thursday. Andre Begemann of Germany and Ernests Gulbis of Latvia defeated top seeds Rohan Bopanna of India and Dominic Inglot of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4. They’ll play third seeds Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski of Great Britain, who moved past Marcelo Demoliner of Brazil and Divij Sharan of India 7-6(6), 5-7, 10-7.
Marcus Daniell of New Zealand and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands upset fourth seeds Robin Haase of the Netherlands and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark 6-4, 7-6(5). Next up for them is the German pair of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, who beat British duo Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara 3-6, 6-4, 10-6.