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Marcos Giron defeats third seed Alex de Minaur on Thursday in Sofia to reach the quarter-finals.

Giron Downs De Minaur In Sofia

Duckworth advances

American Marcos Giron earned his second win in as many weeks against third seed Alex de Minaur on Thursday at the Sofia Open, downing the Australian 7-6(5), 7-6(2) to reach the quarter-finals.

Giron overcame the World No. 26 in straight sets in Metz last week and produced another strong performance in Sofia. The 28-year-old, who is making his debut in Bulgaria, hit with consistent depth and rallied from a break down at 4-5 in the second set, before advancing after two hours.

"Tough match to Alex,” Giron said in his on-court interview. “We’ve had a few battles before. Last week we played and it was a really close one and an epic match, so I knew it was going to be a war. Today it was pretty even but I just played better on the big points than he did. I am stoked to get through and keep going.”

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The World No. 67 now leads De Minaur 3-1 in their ATP Head2Head Series, with all their meetings coming on hard. It is the fourth time this season that Giron has reached the quarter-finals at a tour-level event, having enjoyed runs to the last eight in Halle, Winston-Salem and Metz.

“Resilience is the key word,” Giron added. “Second set was tough. I had break opportunities at 40/0 and I think I had five or six opportunities in the first game, and he did a good job sticking round. I am happy to be resilient.”

De Minaur, who has won ATP Tour titles on hard in Antalya and on grass in Eastbourne this year, was making his second appearance in Sofia, having reached the quarter-finals last season.

Giron will next face eighth seed John Millman after the Australian battled back to defeat Ukrainian qualifier Illya Marchenko 5-7, 7-6(0), 6-3 in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.

Millman, who has reached quarter-finals in Munich, Washington and Nur-Sultan this year, won 77 per cent (43/56) of his first-serve points and broke four times to advance in two hours and 33 minutes.

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The World No. 55 will be joined by a fellow Australian in the quarter-finals after James Duckworth moved past Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 16 minutes.

Duckworth, currently at a career-high No. 56 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, reached his first ATP Tour final in Nur-Sultan last week and has now won 11 of his past 12 matches. The 29-year-old will next face either #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner or Egor Gerasimov.

“I got off to a little bit of a slow start there,” Duckworth said. “Benoit was playing with a lot of variety, so I found it a bit difficult to find my range at the start. But then I was able to find my range a little bit and come through in the end.”

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