The quarterfinals are set for the 2017 Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster after the completion of Thursday’s play.
Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, playing in Memphis for the first time, struck all the right notes in scoring a very impressive upset over top seed Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 6-3 to secure his place in the quarterfinals for the second straight week on Tour.
“I think I’m playing in general really well, the last couple of tournaments,” Basilashvili said. “Coming here I was in really good shape physically and mentally as well. Beating a player like Karlovic is fantastic for me and gives me confidence for the next match. I played him twice and practiced with him a couple of times … his serving is obviously unbelievable. I was able to stay focused the whole match.”
American Steve Johnson, the 4th seed had quite a fight on his hands playing compatriot Tim Smyczek who cruised through the first set before Johnson started to steady the ship. Johnson explained that Smyczek was “doing all he needed to” and was striking the ball cleanly. Johnson said: “I had to go to plan B, C, D and E.”
Aussie qualifier Matt Ebden survived a mid-match revival from last year’s finalist Taylor Fritz to reach the quarterfinals 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. For Ebden, who has been plagued with injuries, this was his first quarterfinal at a Tour level since Atlanta in 2012. In the final result of the day, Mikhail Kukushkin ended the run of Darian King from Barbados 6-3, 6-0.
In Friday’s quarterfinal action, Johnson will take on Kukushkin for the fourth time in their careers and while Johnson has won two of their matches, it was the Kazakh who won their last meeting at Miami in 2015. Basilashvili is trying to reach his second semifinal in as many weeks on the ATP World Tour and he comes up against Ebden.
Second seed John Isner plays Donald Young assuring at least one American will reach the final four. It has been just short of three years since the pair last played; that occasion, in Miami, was the only time Young has won a set – Isner leads their series 3-0.
The Stadium Court session will end with American Ryan Harrison who has shown solid form of late, facing Damir Dzumhur for the first time.