The top two seeds in the tournament progressed to the quarterfinals as David Ferrer and Kevin Anderson stay on a potential collision course to meet in the final. Fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the latest upset victim at the Erste Bank Open, losing to Lukas Rosol in three sets.
Rosol Takes Down Tired Tsonga
In the mild shocker of the day, Lukas Rosol ended a three-match losing skid to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga by defeating the fourth seed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Rosol had never won a set off of the Frenchman before Thursday. There was little to separate the pair in the opening set as both scored easy service holds through the first eight games. In the ninth, Tsonga looked on his way to another routine hold as he broke out to a 40-0 lead on serve. He lost four straight points as Rosol scored the surprising break of serve. The Czech made it hold as he crushed a love service game to win the opening set. Rosol's first serve was on fire, winning him 16 of 17 points in the set.
The second set teetered back and forth with Tsonga being forced to save five break points through his first three service games to stay in the lead. That lead came when the fourth seed got a much needed break of serve on Rosol in the fourth game to go up 3-1. Tsonga would allow Rosol to get back on serve at 4-3 after being broken for the second time in the match. That was short lived though as Rosol was immediately broken again with the Frenchman then serving out the set to even the match at one set each. Tsonga's shaky play would carry into the third as fatigue looked to really hit him as he was broken two of his three service games with Rosol running away with the set 6-1. Tsonga had issues getting his first serve in during the final set which allowed the Czech to win 10 of 13 points off the Tsonga second serve.
Top Two Seeds Advance
The top two seeds in Vienna were able to make their way to the quarterfinal round with wins on Thursday. Top seed David Ferrer had no issues with fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Ferrer destroyed Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-1. He broke his counterpart five times and won 57 percent of the points off the Garcia-Lopez serve. Ferrer was pleased with his effort afterwards, telling Agence France-Presse that he still has work to do, "I played a much better match today after adapting to the conditions. I had no mistakes, but I'm only in the quarter-finals."
Second seed Kevin Anderson had a much tougher tussle with Jiri Vesely in his second round match. Vesely won a tense first set in a tie break, 7-4, to open up a lead on Anderson. He out aced the tall South African seven to four in the set and was actually more dominant on serve. Anderson would turn the tables quickly in the second set as his first serve led the way, winning all eleven points. The second seed broke Vesely twice and won the set easily, 6-3, to even the match. In the final set, it was tight the whole way as the two players exchanged service holds through the first ten games. Anderson would get the one break needed to take the match in the 11th game. Anderson smashed 15 aces in the match and was not broken on serve.
In other matches played on Thursday, eighth seeded Fabio Fognini had an easy time with Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-4. The Italian did not face a break point in the match. American Steve Johnson used a huge serving day to defeat Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4. Johnson had 20 aces and impressively won 53 of 57 points on his first serve. The final match of the day saw sixth seed Gael Monfils, booking his spot in the quarterfinals with a straight sets win over Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-4. Monfils was broken once in each set, but managed to break the Italian twice in each set to help score back-to-back wins for the first time since July.
Friday's slate of matches will open with seventh seed Ivo Karlovic up against Ernests Gulbis. Gulbis won their only career meeting back in 2010 at Delray Beach. That match will be followed by Kevin Anderson clashing with Steve Johnson. Anderson owns four wins in five tries against the American with three of those coming this season. David Ferrer will then take an 8-0 mark into action against Fabio Fognini. Fognini has won just two sets all-time against the Spaniard. The final singles match will pit Lukas Rosol against Gael Monfils.