HOUSTON: Chilean Christian Garin saved five match points to upset second seed Jeremy Chardy of France 3-6 7-6(4) 7-6(7) and advance to the quarter-finals of the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old benefited from a fortunate bounce on match point in the third set tiebreaker when Chardy’s forehand caught the net cord and was redirected out of bounds, ending the three hour affair.
While Garin was rewarded for his never-say-die attitude, Chardy was his own worst enemy, issuing 13 double faults including two in the decisive third set tiebreaker.
Next up for Garin is a quarter-final meeting with Swiss Henri Laaksonen, whose stout defence made the difference in his 6-4 7-5 win over American Ryan Harrison earlier in the day on the red clay courts.
Upsets were in the humid Texas air as Norway’s Casper Ruud overcame 16 aces from fourth-seeded Reilly Opelka to claw back to a 4-6 6-4 6-4 win to end the day’s action.
Ruud converted his lone break point opportunity in the second set and took advantage of a mistake-prone Opelka in the third set to advance over the big-serving American.
Ruud will face Marcel Granollers in the quarters after the Spaniard upset fifth-seeded American Taylor Fritz in the opening round and crushed Australian Bernard Tomic 6-1 6-2 on Monday to advance.
With Opelka eliminated only two of the 11 American who entered the tournament are left — top-seeded Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey