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Sudden success in Cincinnati puts Paire in quarter-finals

Benoit Paire has produced his best result of 2021 by reaching the Cincinnati quarter-finals. Paire advanced on Thursday by beating John Isner in three sets.

Benoit Paire started to turn his season around slowly but surely during the post-Wimbledon clay-court. Now he is moving in a positive direction even faster.

Paire punched his ticket into the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Open with a 7-6(1), 6-7(2), 6-1 victory over John Isner on Thursday afternoon. The Frenchman broke Isner a whopping four times — three in the third set — to prevail in two hours and 18 minutes.

This is Paire’s third quarter-final of the season — a season that had been nothing short of a disaster through the first six months. However, his first two quarter-final appearances came at clay-court 250s. A quarter-final at a Masters 1000 is, of course, something entirely different.

Rublev next for Paire in Cincinnati quarter-finals

Can Paire take his suddenly fine form to even greater heights? It won’t be easy, because Andrey Rublev is next up for him in the quarter-finals.

Andrey Rublev held off Gael Monfils 7-6(2), 7-6(5) in one hour and 48 minutes later on Thursday afternoon. Monfils clearly did not feel well in the hot conditions early in the second set and Rublev was not happy when the Frenchman took a medical timeout in the middle of play — not during a scheduled changeover. Despite being hobbled, Monfils managed to force another tiebreaker. But Rublev was once again too strong when it mattered most, as the seventh-ranked Russian delivered an amazing backhand winner at 5-5 in the ‘breaker and then got a double-fault from his opponent to clinch victory.

“It was super tough because you know how Gael is; he runs for every ball and gets everything back,” Rublev explained. “I knew from the beginning [there] was going to be a lot of long rallies. The weather is hot; I knew it was going to be an intense match.”

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