German qualifier Zverev beats Fognini at Valencia Open
VALENCIA, Spain (AP) German qualifier Mischa Zverev advanced to the quarterfinals of the Valencia Open by beating fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini 6-2, 7-6 (3) Thursday.
Zverev, who was treated for a leg injury in the second set, took advantage of a series of unforced errors in the first set to take the lead.
''On this surface, the serve is really important and I served badly today,'' Fognini said. ''And with my forehand I was doing nothing, making a lot of mistakes.''
Another German qualifier, Daniel Brands, also reached the quarterfinals, beating Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-2. Montanes entered the tournament after top-seeded David Ferrer withdrew with an elbow injury.
Later, two more seeded players were eliminated when No. 2 Feliciano Lopez lost to Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6 (3) and No. 5 Benoit Paire lost to Joao Sousa 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
Johnson served for the match at 5-4, but the left-handed Lopez forced the tiebreaker.
''Couldn't close the door at 5-4 in the second, but I got it done in the breaker,'' said Johnson, an American who lost Ferrer in the final in Vienna last week. ''I've played a couple of lefties here, got into a good rhythm before playing a big server like Feliciano. Was glad to get through Day 1 and happy to get through Day 2.''
Seventh-seed Roberto Bautista Agut became the last player into the last eight after a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Russian wild-card entry Andrey Rublev. He will face Zverev next.
''Tomorrow I have a difficult match,'' Bautista Agut said. "For sure he is playing really well to be in the quarterfinals, to beat Fognini, so I will have to play very well again to be in the semifinals.''