© Henk Koster

Qualifier Jeremy Chardy beats sixth seed and 2017 finalist David Goffin on Thursday in Rotterdam.

Chardy, King Of Tie-breaks, Reaches Rotterdam Quarter-finals

Frenchman now plays Rublev in last four

French qualifier Jeremy Chardy booked his place in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament quarter-finals on Thursday by knocking out sixth seed and 2017 finalist David Goffin of Belgium 7-6(3), 7-6(5) in one hour and 44 minutes.

Chardy ended the five-match winning streak of Goffin, saving one set point in the first set against last week’s Open Sud de France champion. The 34-year-old Chardy, who has now won nine of the 10 tie-breaks he has contested this year, will now play fourth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev for the fourth time (Rublev leads 2-1).

Goffin broke serve for a 6-5 lead in the first set, but could not convert a set point at Advantage in the next game with Chardy returning aggressively and striking a forehand volley winner. Chardy came alive in the first-set tie-break at 3/3, with three consecutive winners — a forehand, forehand drive volley and a backhand slice. The World No. 64, who converted his second match point with a backhand return in the second set tie-break, struck 20 of 25 winners off his forehand wing.

“It was extremely difficult,” said Goffin. “No matter the score or the moment, Jeremy goes for it. He’s hit the ball really well since the start of the year. I had a set point, then a chance with a forehand volley, but I didn’t make it. He played really well in the first set tie-break, with three or four shots on the lines, and I think he deserved to win.”

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Goffin, who lifted his fifth ATP Tour trophy on Sunday in Montpellier (d. Bautista Agut), is now 8-4 on the 2021 season.

Tommy Paul bounced back from losing a tight first set to overcome fellow 23-year-old Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 38 minutes. Paul, who struck 29 winners, will meet Marton Fucsovics in the quarter-finals. Fucsovics claimed the final spot in the last eight with a 6-3, 6-2 victory against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The Hungarian qualifier saved nine of the 12 break points he faced to earn his fourth win of the week. Fucsovics won his only previous ATP Head2Head meeting against Paul in straight sets at last year’s Australian Open.

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