KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian Open Tennis Championship (MOKL), third seed Ivo Karlovic of Croatia will meet Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the quarter-finals.
Karlovic, ranked 18th in the world, defeated 96th ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, 7-5, 4-6 and 6-3 in one hour 46:53 minutes while Kyrgios thrashed Tatsuma Ito of Japan, 6-3 and 6-2 at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here, Wednesday.
“I was struggling with my overall game because I need time to get back my rhythm at the beginning. Playing in an indoor court, I like it because there’s no distraction like sun or wind, so it is good for my game,” said the 36-year-old Karlovic.
Germany’s Benjamin Becker breezed to the quarterfinals after he once again sprang a surprise when smashed sixth seeded, Jeremy Chardy of France (26th ranked) 5-7, 6-1 and 7-5 in two hours 5:59 minutes
On Monday, the world no. 74 had beaten Sam Groth of Australia, who is currently ranked 53 in the world, 6-1 and 7-6(6) in the first round.
“I don’t think the third set was straight-forward but I think we are in the good level, I played ok. Great…in the first and third set he played well, he broke me and nothing else could be done better if I wanted to stay in the match.
“I had a good start in the second set so it’s good for me. The second set went fast but the third set was close. I won the important point, 5-5, I broke the point,” he told reporters after the match.
Last year’s quarter-finalist, Becker admitted he was having a tough season this year that he had lost many matches and wanted to get back his confidence to win in Kuala Lumpur.
Becker is scheduled to meet Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov or Joao Sousa of Portugal in the quarterfinal round.
Sousa, ranked 47th, had an easy win over qualifier Michal Przysiezny of Poland 6-2 and 6-2 in the first round and is scheduled to play fourth seeded, Dimitrov in the second round. “Last year, I couldn’t make it, lost in the first round. This year, I will try harder for the final…it is not easy to play. I am really happy to win today. I will meet Dimitrov next, I am sure it’s going to be a tough match.
“But now, for me, it’s time to enjoy the game. Tomorrow will be another day…and I’m gonna think about tomorrow’s match. Dimitrov is a good player, I know him well, it’s gonna be a tough match,” said the 2013 MOKL champion.
Sousa said 2015 has been the best year for his career as he was playing good tennis and improving on his matches much better than before.
In other first round matches, qualifier Mischa Zverev of Germany won against Rajeev Ram of United States of America 7-6(2), 3-6 and 6-3. He is expected to meet second seeded, Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
In the men’s doubles, Australia’s Rameez Junaid/Jonathan Marray of Britian, Frantisek Cermak/Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic, Austria’s Philipp Oswald/Canada’s Adil Shamasdin, Treat Huey of Philippines/Henri Kontinen of Finland and Eric Butorac/Scott Lipsky of United States of America advanced to the quarterfinals.