third round of the Western and Southern Open was completed with six of the eight matches played ending in straight sets. Top seed Novak Djokovic, third seed Daniil Medvedev and fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas led the way into the quarterfinals.
Other winners were Milos Raonic, eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, Filip Krajinovic as well as Reilly Opelka and Jan-Lennard Struff, who upset sixth seed Matteo Berrettini and seventh seed David Goffin respectively.
Djokovic eases past Sandgren; Medvedev sweeps aside Bedene
After looking rusty in his opening match against Ricardas Berankis, Djokovic rebounded with a superb performance against the dangerous Sandgren, brushing aside the American 6-2, 6-4.
The world number one was immaculate on his first serve, losing just five points (26 of 31) and saving all four break points he faced in the 88-minute match to extend his unbeaten run to 20-0 on the year.
The Serb broke Sandgren in the opening game of the match as his baseline play looked sharp and he broke a second time for a 5-2 lead and proceeded to serve out the set a game later.
Djokovic broke for a third time in the match to start the second set and despite failing to convert five match points at 5-3, he held to love a game later, a forehand winner sealing the triumph.
"I'm as close to [being] painless [in my] neck as I can be", he said. "I'm feeling very good and that has obviously reflected positively on my game today."
Defending champion Medvedev had little trouble with qualifier Aljaz Bedene, needing just 68 minutes to move past the Slovenian and into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
The Russian fired a backhand winner to break in the third game of the first set and again in the ninth game when Bedene netted a forehand. Medvedev, who won 90 percent of his first serve points, broke again for a 3-1 lead in the second set and never looked back.
"I returned much better than yesterday and was more solid", he assessed. "To win by this score and quite easily against Aljaz is a big challenge. I got used to the conditions better today. It wasn't easy for him today as it was his sixth match and I just took my chances. I don't feel the courts are extra fast this year."
Tsitsipas, Raonic advance in rain-delayed matches
Tsitsipas outplayed 16th seed John Isner, winning 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) in one hour, 42 minutes. After bypassing a rare break point chance on the American's serve at 6-5, the Greek cruises through the tiebreaker, sealing it with an ace.
The second set saw another tiebreaker and at 4-4, Isner committed a decisive error to hand Tsitsipas the advantage and two points later, another error by the American wrapped up victory for the fourth seed.
"It was a very difficult match", he said. "My level of focus and attention had to be there all the time. John is a very unpredictable player. He can be very aggressive at times. If you don't play with first serves, it can get quite dangerous with him, so I think being aggressive and pressing all the time was very important."
Raonic blasted Andy Murray 6-2, 6-2 to earn his first victory over the Brit in six years. Murray misses on a forehand at 2-2 to hand the Canadian the early advantage and after taking the opening set, play was suspended due to torrential rain.
After a delay of an hour and a half, play resumed and Murray was broken early in the second set. After failing to convert on two break chances trailing 3-2, he never got another opportunity as Raonic closed out the match shortly thereafter.
"I just really tried to do the things that I'm good at well, and that was really my intention", he said. "A lot of those things I did well today."
Opelka, Struff, Bautista Agut, Krajinovic move into quarterfinals
Opelka fired off 29 winners, including 19 aces in a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over Berrettini to reach his first Masters Series quarterfinals.
A forehand error by the Italian in the eighth game of the opening set sealed the only break of the match as Opelka advances to face Tsitsipas in the last eight.
"I'm pretty pleased", he said. "I've put in a lot of hard work and I [used] this time to train. I didn't take much time off, I really didn't. It's just nice to be back, that's all I could say."
Struff downed his second straight seeded player with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Goffin and will next challenge Djokovic while Bautista Agut came from behind against 11th seed Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Krajinovic, a day after routing second seed Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-1, won by the identical scoreline against qualifier Marton Fucsovics to book a spot against Raonic in the last eight.