Unseeded Marcos Baghdatis overcame Monaco, while Tomas Berdych threw out Falla to reach 2012 Japan Open quarterfinals in Tokyo.
The Tokyo audience was in for a three-set treat featuring fourth-seeded Juan Monaco and 2006 Australian Open finalist Baghdatis. The players made it safely to 5-all when the Cypriot was handed a double break point in the eleventh game and seized the vital break straight away. Some dramatic moments in the closing game as Baghdatis went 40-30 up, yet the story did not end here. Last week’s Malaysian Open champion responded with a re-break opportunity, but ultimately fell as the 46th-ranked Cypriot managed to convert his second set point.
The Argentine was the author of the second-set script. After a shaky introduction – he saved two break points in the opening game – Monaco played the role of the favorite and stole two of his rival’s service games to go 5-1 up just before closing out the set to make it one set a piece. However, Baghdatis freshened up for the decider, broke Monaco in the second game and kept him at bay for the rest of the set. The first match point did the trick for the Cypriot who capped off his brave performance with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 surprise victory. His quarterfinal challenger will be Russian Tursunov.
Second seed Czech Berdych relied on his confident serving in the clash with Colombian Alejandro Falla. He struck nine aces and won 91% of his first serve rallies. World no. 57 Falla never came close to breaking his opponent, while the powerful Czech hitter efficiently converted his first break opportunity in the sixth game of the opener. He showed no mercy a few minutes later as he served out the set with a game to love. Berdych continued to do his job in the second set and waited for Falla to show some weakness and give away a serve at 5-all. Another love game thrashing followed for a 6-3, 7-5 victory. Berdych will take on eighth seed home crowd favorite Nishikori next.