Mikhail Youzhny suffered an early exit
Russian Mikhail Youzhny, former PBZ Zagreb Indoors champion, who won title in Dom sportova hall in 2012, suffered an early exit on Thursday, losing to qualifyier Bjorn Phau.
German won by 4:6, 7:5, 6:1 and reached his first tour-level quarterfinal since advancing to last eight in Stuttgart in summer 2012.
Youzhny played very solid during the first hour, leading 6:4, 2:0. Phau then recovered and won four games in a row, hitting some great backhands down the line.
Third set started with the longest game of 28 points, won by Phau, and German lost only one game until the end of the match.
"I was not ready to play, I should not have been here, I was sick", Russian said and a few minutes later withdrew from doubles competition due to illness.
Third-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber made impressive start on his Zagreb debut, winning 6:4, 6:2 against Andrey Golubev from Kazakhstan.
Croatian clash between Ivan Dodig and Ivo Karlovic was again won by Dodig. They have met five times (four matches on tour-level), including in Zagreb last year in the second round as well. But this time Dodig prevailed in straight sets, winning 7:6 (5), 6:3.
"All matches we play are the same. It seems that he does not like my style of play. I stand very far behind the baseline and go often to the net. It was good tactics before and there is no reason to change it", Dodig said.
Karlovic had seven break points but was unable to convert a single one. The only break of the match came in the sixth game of the second set.
"I think this was the best match I have played against Ivan so far", Karlovic said. "I had many opportunities, but was unlucky today."
Next opponent for Dodig will again be Croatian player: defending champion Marin Cilic:
"This is now common for me, to play against fellow Croatian player. It's not easy to play against friend, best man. We are very good friends, but surely we will both try to win. Let the better one win and hopefully win the title", Dodig said.