No. 1 seed Carlos Alcaraz needed a pair of tiebreakers to take down Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) to advance to the quarterfinals of the National Bank Open on Thursday in Toronto.
The 20-year-old Spanish superstar staked a 5-1 lead in the second-set tiebreaker before going on to win it and extend the match. After blowing a 5-2 lead in the third set and letting Hurkacz take the lead, Alcaraz forced another tiebreaker and zoomed ahead 6-1 before winning on his third match point.
Alcaraz hit 34 winners and committed 19 unforced errors in the two-hour, 38-minute match. Hurkacz, the No. 15 seed, stood his ground by earning an 8-6 edge in aces and saving seven of 10 break points.
"In the tough moments you have to believe in yourself, try to go for it," Alcaraz said in his post-match interview. "It doesn't matter if you win or not. You have to believe you are going to play your best in that moment, try to play aggressive. I think in the two tie-breaks I did pretty well. That's why I got the win."
Alcaraz, the 2023 Wimbledon and 2022 U.S. Open champ, will face No. 12 seed Tommy Paul in the quarterfinals. Paul bounced fellow American Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2. Paul saved seven of eight break points while Giron was 0-for-4 on break points.
Unseeded Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina stunned third seed Casper Ruud of Norway 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4). Davidovich Fokina posted a lopsided 58-32 advantage in total winners.
No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev had an easier time defeating Italian No. 16 seed Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 6-4.
Next, Medvedev will face Australia's Alex de Minaur, who ousted No. 8 seed Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-1. Despite Fritz's 14-1 edge in aces, he had trouble cracking de Minaur, who saved 12 of 15 break points.
"It feels great to finally break that barrier," de Minaur said of reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinals.
Frenchman Gael Monfils beat Australia's Aleksandar Vukic 6-4, 6-4. Mackenzie McDonald eliminated wild card Milos Raonic — the only Canadian man left in the men's draw of Canada's national open — 6-3, 6-3.
Italian seventh seed Jannik Sinner advanced to the quarterfinals via walkover Thursday night when Great Britain's Andy Murray withdrew due to an abdominal strain.
—Field Level Media