Greek No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had to fight hard before booking his place in the Sofia Open quarterfinals, securing a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over feisty German Jan-Lennard Struff Thursday having enjoyed the backing of the Bulgarian crowd.
"For the first time I play as if I was at home," said Tsitsipas, 20, who reached the semifinals at the Australian Open last month.
"I felt confident and I hope I will continue to show a good performance. Struff played very well but I was lucky in some of the games and it helped me a lot."
Fernando Verdasco also secured his place in the last eight with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win over Romanian Marius Copil. Big-serving Copil, who reached the tournament's final last year, bombarded Verdasco with 10 aces, but had no answer to his opponent's brilliance in the final set.
"I have been able to put more returns than him in the third set," said Spaniard Verdasco. "I made fewer mistakes from the baseline."
Russian No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev came back from a set down to beat Dutchman Robin Haase 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 and book his place in the last eight, where he will face Slovakian Martin Klizan who outclassed German qualifier Daniel Brands 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Marton Fucsovics is also through after a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 win over another German qualifier -- Yannick Maden. The Hungarian will face fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who won the tournament in 2016.