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Dennis Novak upsets Benoit Paire in Cologne on Wednesday to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final.

Novak Causes Upset In Cologne To Reach 1st ATP Tour QF

Hurkacz advances in straight sets

Dennis Novak reached his first ATP Tour quarter-final on Wednesday, upsetting fourth seed Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last eight at the bett1HULKS Indoors in Cologne.

“It’s just important to focus on myself, not looking on the other side of the court at what he’s doing,” Novak said on court after his win. “Sometimes it’s tough… I was focussing on myself and I think it was a solid match.”

Paire is one of the most talented players in the world and he can take over a match at any moment. The Frenchman rallied from a break down in the second set to get back on serve, but Novak remained focussed to advance in straight sets.

“The most important thing was I broke back straightaway,” Novak said. “I was a break up again and then serving with new balls." 

Novak will next play 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic or 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

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Sixth seed Hubert Hurkacz also moved on Wednesday, defeating home favourite Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-3 in 85 minutes. The Polish No. 1 saved seven of the eight break points he faced.

“Mischa is a great player. It’s not easy to play against him, especially because he has great volleys,” said Hurkacz, who will next challenge second seed Roberto Bautista Agut or former Top 10 player Gilles Simon. “He can come in on most of the balls, so it’s really tricky to play him. I’m happy with my victory today.”

Moldovan Radu Albot battled into his first quarter-final of the season with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 triumph against German qualifier Oscar Otte. Albot failed to serve out the match at the first time of asking, but closed out his victory in two hours and 30 minutes.

“All the matches are tough. Everybody’s playing good tennis,” Albot said. “I didn’t have so many wins this year, but hopefully more wins will come in the future.”

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