© Marta Magni/MEF Tennis Events

Marco Cecchinato advances to the quarter-finals in Todi.

Cecchinato Completes QF Lineup In Todi

Second seed eyeing Top 100 return

It was one year ago that Marco Cecchinato was playing the best tennis of his career. A third ATP Tour title saw him soar inside the Top 20 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. It was a breakthrough moment for the Italian.

Now, the 27-year-old is fighting to rediscover that mojo on the court. After such a rapid rise from the ATP Challenger Tour, Cecchinato finds himself searching for that elite form as he targets a return to the top levels of the game. He is hoping a deep run this week in Todi will go a long way to those ends.

On Thursday, Cecchinato advanced to the quarter-finals at the Internazionali di Tennis Città di Todi. He defeated Juan Pablo Ficovich 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes, riding his serve to victory. Cecchinato won an impressive 82 per cent of first serve points and did not face a break point.

Sitting at No. 113, the Palermo native would return to the Top 100 with a title this week. He faces seventh seed Yannick Hanfmann on Friday, following the German's 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 comeback win over 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti.

ATP Challenger Tour 

In other action, Spain's Bernabe Zapata Miralles routed top seed and countryman Roberto Carballes Baena 6-2, 6-1 in just 68 minutes. It marked the third straight season that Zapata Miralles has earned a Top 100 victory.

"I didn't expect such a victory today," said Zapata Miralles. "I played very well, putting into practice the tactics I had prepared before the tournament. I was facing an opponent who is comfortable on clay and the points were very long. But I'm very happy to have won them. Here in Todi I am expressing myself very well on the court. It is not easy after the long break on the circuit. I know that I can play with everyone but I want to continue thinking match by match."

The 23-year-old Spaniard will face fifth seed Facundo Bagnis for a spot in the semis. Bagnis earned a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Giulio Zeppieri earlier on Thursday.

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