Marin Cilic picked up back-to-back wins for the first time in 2017, as the top seed in Rotterdam defeated up-and-coming Borna Coric 61 26 64.
WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER BURTON
The win was not without issues for Cilic, who dropped the second set to the twenty year-old, but recovered well to play an almost faultless final set, dropping just four points on serve as he closed all hope Coric had of breaking. Cilic had plenty of chances in the decider, and broke Coric to advance to the quarter-finals of an event for the first time this year.
He was joined in the quarter-finals by fourth seed Tomas Berdych after the Czech defeated Richard Gasquet 76 61. The two players have lots of history, with this their sixteenth meeting in the head-to-head. The win for Berdych ensures he pulls away 9-7 in career meetings with Gasquet, his third win in a row against the Frenchman, after winning both their meetings in 2016, in Miami and Shenzhen respectively.
Tomas Berdych (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Third seed David Goffin was in serious trouble for more than a set against Dutch wildcard Robin Haase before eventually winning 57 64 64. Buoyed by a enthusiastic home crowd, Haase, who had defeated German Florian Mayer in round one, continued to more than justify his wildcard by giving the Belgian a real match. He took the first set with a late break, as Goffin looked erratic in the first set, surrendering two breaks from two break points for Haase.
Goffin settled in the next two sets, and dropped just three points on his first serve through sets two and three. He broke once in each set, and saved a lone break point in the third.
The match was eventually won by the third seed, who will face Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.