Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic snuffed eighth-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner's chances at back-to-back titles on Wednesday by cruising to a 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio.
Sinner defeated Australia's Alex de Minaur in the final of the National Bank Open in Toronto this past weekend, but he struggled at this week's Cincinnati-area event. He couldn't make anything out of a 2-0 lead in the second-set tiebreaker and couldn't convert a single break point in five opportunities throughout the match.
Lajovic smacked 20 winners and won 44 of 58 first-service points en route to the victory.
"I knew I had been serving very well the past couple of days, so I thought if I continue to use my serve, both with the flat and the kick out wide, I could dominate the point after the serve," Lajovic said. "This is what I did most of the time in my service games.
"I was happy to finish in two sets because I know that going three sets against these kinds of players, it's always going to be much tougher."
Lajovic heads to the round of 16, where he will face No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz of the United States. Fritz was a 6-4, 7-6 (1) winner over Italy's Lorenzo Sonego.
Australian qualifier Max Purcell also pulled off an upset on Wednesday, edging No. 5 seed Casper Ruud of Norway 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Both players racked up 12 aces, but Purcell saved six of seven break points, while Ruud saved just one of three.
It marked Purcell's first victory over a top-10 opponent.
American wild card Mackenzie McDonald and Poland's Hubert Hurkacz took care of seeded foes as well. McDonald was leading Danish No. 6 seed Holger Rune 6-4, 2-0 before Rune retired, and Hurkacz rallied for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory to oust Croatian 15th seed Borna Coric.
Three of the top four seeds in the tournament also won on Wednesday. No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia prevailed when Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina retired after the first set, third-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev beat Italian Lorenzo Musetti and Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas eliminated American Ben Shelton.
No. 16 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany, 14th-seeded Tommy Paul of the U.S. and France's Gael Monfils also won their matches. Monfils is playing on a protected ranking.
American No. 10 seed Frances Tiafoe and Swiss wild card Stan Wawrinka were scheduled to play later Wednesday in the last match of the night.
—Field Level Media