Lacko Upsets Schwartzman In Eastbourne
Roland Garros semi-finalist Cecchinato wins first match on grass
Slovakian Lukas Lacko recorded the biggest win of his career on Wednesday when he knocked out Diego Schwartzman, currently a career-high No. 11 in the ATP Rankings, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 at the Nature Valley International. His previous best victory had come in February 2011 at San Jose against No. 17-ranked Sam Querrey in the first round.
Schwartzman came within one point of taking a 3-0 lead in the deciding set before a tense finish. Lacko clinched his second match point in a 12-point final game, which ended with the World No. 94 forcing his Argentinean opponent into a forehand error. Lacko is now 2-37 lifetime against Top 20 players.
Schwartzman has yet to win a match on grass courts (0-7). Lacko, who captured his 12th ATP Challenger Tour title (12-12) in May this year in Glasgow (d. Vanni), will next face wild card Cameron Norrie, who beat fellow Briton Jay Clarke, a lucky loser, 6-4, 6-3 in 72 minutes.
Marco Cecchinato made his breakthrough on the spring European clay-court swing, but on Wednesday at Devonshire Park, the Italian recorded the first grass-court win of his career, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 over 2015 finalist Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, for a place in the quarter-finals. Cecchinato clinched his first ATP World Tour title on 29 April at the Gazprom Hungarian Open (d. Millman) and earlier this month reached the Roland Garros semi-finals (l. to Thiem).
Australia’s John Millman will look to avenge his Budapest final loss to Cecchinato on Thursday, following a 7-6(7), 7-6(4) victory over fifth seed Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in just over two hours. Millman, who has undergone right shoulder and groin surgery during his career to bounce back into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings (No. 62), saved two set points at 4-5, 15/40 in the second set.
Seeds 0-3 On Day Of Doubles Upsets
British wild cards Luke Bambridge and Jonny O'Mara produced a huge upset to reach the semi-finals, beating top-seeded Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 3-6, 6-3, 10-5.
Bambridge and O'Mara rallied from a set down to defeat the Internazionali BNL d'Italia titlists after 62 minutes, winning 77 per cent of first-serve points en route to victory. The British duo will meet Robert Lindstedt and Edouard Roger-Vasselin for a place in the final. The Swedish-French pairing defeated Scott Clayton and Joe Salisbury 6-2, 7-5.
Ryan Harrison and Nicholas Monroe beat second seeds Ivan Dodig and Rajeev Ram 6-3, 7-6(2). The Americans fired 10 aces and broke serve on four occasions to progress after 76 minutes. Harrison and Monroe will face Open Sud de France champions Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski for a spot in the championship match. The British brothers overcame third-seeded Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus 6-2, 6-4.