Marcos Baghdatis knocked defending champion and top seed Lucas Pouille out of the Open Sud de France after a dramatic last-16 clash in Montpellier on Thursday.

World No. 128 Baghdatis outlasted Frenchman Pouille in 2 hours, 40 minutes to secure a 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory on Court Patrice Dominguez.

The Cypriot will face Radu Albot in the quarterfinals, after the Moldovan defeated Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 in two-and-a-half hours.

A qualifier Marcos Baghdatis will compete in the first ATP quarter-final since Atlanta last year following a hard-fought 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 win over the top seed and defending champion Lucas Pouille in grueling two hours and 40 minutes.

Lucas won their previous match at the US Open last year although he couldn’t repeat the same today, making a lot of errors and finishing on the losing side in the first match he played since that semi-final of the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic.

The Cypriot won nine points more than his rival, hitting 12 aces and delivering much better numbers behind the first serve to save seven out of 11 break points and steal Lucas’s serve five times to cross the finish line first.

Pouille drew first blood in the sixth game, breaking for a 4-2 lead and wasting two set points on the return in game eight that took the momentum out from him. Marcos fends off another pair of break points on the return in the following game to reduce the deficit, serving well in the rest of the set and taking it with a return winner in the ninth point of the breaker.

In set number two, Marcos was the one who squandered a lead, suffering a break in game nine while serving for the match and losing the tie break 7-3 to keep Lucas in contention before the start of the decider. There, the Frenchman pulled the break back in game six before Baghdatis grabbed another one with a forehand winner in game seven, saving a break point at 5-4 and finishing the job with an ace a few minutes later for a significant win.

Home favourite Pierre-Hugues Herbert is safely through to the quarterfinals after he came from a set down to beat Ilya Ivashka.

No. 7 seed Herbert responded from a set deficit to seal a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory in a little over two hours on court.

He faces wild card and No. 3 seed Denis Shapovalov for a place in the final four after the Canadian enjoyed a straight-sets 6-4, 7-6 (1) triumph over Spaniard Marcel Granollers.

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