Dolgopolov and defending champion Granollers reach Valencia QFs

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Defending champion Marcel Granollers came from a set down to move on to the quarter finals in Valencia, defeating Gilles Simon (4)6-7 6-3 6-2. John Isner’s exit meant Granollers was the only remaining seed in his half at the time of the match, giving him a great chance to be able to defend his points from last year.

He started nervously against Simon, going a break down early on but would break straight back. Simon would trouble the Spaniard’s serve but could not take advantage of four break points later in the set and would have to settle for a tie break to decide the first. Granollers would crack first, dropping serve at 3-3. Simon held both points on serve to bring up three set points and would take the second of them after a Granollers double fault.

From then on, the Granollers serve would be dominant and in set two he would not drop a point on first serve – winning all 14 points. A single break in game four was enough to set him on his way to tying the match and forcing a decider. Granollers would carry the momentum on to the third set, opening with a break. Simon found a bit more on the Granollers serve but never looked like breaking, taking him to deuce one and twice a 15-30 opening only to lose three straight points. Granollers would get the insurance break for a 5-2 lead but would not need it, serving out the match at the first time of asking to move on to the quarter finals where he will play Alexandr Dolgopolov who defeated Gilles Muller in straight sets.

After shocking Milos Raonic in the first round, Muller suffered somewhat of a letdown against a tricky opponent in Dolgopolov. In the 6-4 6-4 victory, Muller could not get anything on the Dolgopolov serve. He won just one point on the Ukranian’s first serve and seven overall.

Breaks in the opening games of each set would be all Dolgopolov needed with his dominance on serve, although he did have chances in both sets for double breaks. In both sets, he would hold set points (and so, match points in set 2) on the Muller serve but both times he could not convert. It would matter very little though, with love holds emphatically closing out set and match.

Jurgen Melzer recovered from being broken early on to take victory over Xavier Malisse in straight sets 7-5 6-2. Game four saw Malisse break the Austrian from 30-0 up but after confirming the hold it would be all Melzer. He dropped just three points in the next three games as he pulled back on level terms at 4-4. After winning three straight points from 40-0 down Melzer threatened a break but Malisse held firm. He wouldn’t next time round falling down 0-40, Melzer converting on break point number two to get the chance to serve for the set. Melzer would do so, but not before saving a break point of his own at 30-40.

Melzer took his momentum into the second set, with an early break to 15 and a hold making it eight of the last nine games won by the Austrian. Malisse saved a break point to stop the bleeding and get on the scoreboard in set two but would be broken once more next time round to fall down 1-4. He would hold to force Melzer to serve for the match of which Melzer would do so fairly comfortably, taking the match on his second match point.

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