PORTUGAL’S Joao Sousa plays a return to Gael Monfils of France during their Rotterdam Open match.—AFP
PORTUGAL’S Joao Sousa plays a return to Gael Monfils of France during their Rotterdam Open match.—AFP

ROTTERDAM: Top seed Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the Rotterdam Open on Wednesday, losing to 104th-ranked Canadian Vasek Pospisil, who marched into the last 16 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

World number five Medvedev, long-touted as one of the most likely of the new generation of players to win a Grand Slam, saw his Rotterdam challenge ended in just 68 minutes by Pospisil, , who stunned fans by sipping maple syrup during the Montpellier ATP final at the weekend,

The 29-year-old Canadian, who continues a fine run of form having reached the final at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, managed to save five of six break points while converting three of his own en route to a huge upset.

Pospisil will face Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic for a spot in the Rotterdam quarter-finals.

France’s Gael Monfils started his Rotterdam title defence with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 victory over Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Monfils, who beat Pospisil — a former top 30 player now ranked 104 — in the final to win in Montpellier last week, needed only 70 minutes to dispatch his Portuguese opponent, firing five aces and converting four break points.

The 33-year-old Frenchman, who is looking to become the first player to win back-to-back Rotterdam titles since Sweden’s Robin Soderling in 2011, next faces compatriot Gilles Simon who beat Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3.

“It’s never easy to come back after a win,” Monfils said. “But I have great memories from last year.”

In an all-Spanish showdown, Pablo Carreno-Busta beat sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4) to qualify for the quarter-finals after a battle lasting nearly two-and-a-half hours. Carreno-Busta fired 11 aces and saved seven break points to advance at his higher-ranked compatriot’s expense.

Belgian fourth seed David Goffin battled back from a set down and saved two break points in the decider to beat local hope Robin Haase 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

Goffin will face Italian Jannik Sinner, who was awarded a walkover after his opponent Radu Albot withdrew.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020