World number one Carlos Alcaraz defeated Tommy Paul in a three-set thriller to reach the quarter-finals of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Wimbledon champion Alcaraz outlasted the American 7-6 (6) 6-7(0) 6-3 in a gruelling contest that lasted more than three hours.
The Spaniard suffered a three-set defeat against the American in the quarter-finals at the Toronto Masters last week.
Paul got the first break to lead 4-2, before Alcaraz rallied to bring up the tie-break, which he eventually claimed 8-6.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) August 18, 2023
The second set proved another tight affair, with both players losing three service games at 5-5.
Paul saved three match points in a marathon 12th game which lasted more than 15 minutes to go into another tie-break.
This time, though, the American took control after an early mini-break to race into a 3-0 lead before then sweeping it to love.
Alcaraz broke in the first game of the deciding set, which he was leading 4-3 when rain forced play to be suspended after three hours and two minutes of a pulsating contest.
Following a delay of around an hour, the players headed out on court – but the match was soon paused again as the drizzle returned along with strong winds before the pair went off back inside.
When they were finally able to return to the court, Alcaraz picked up where he left off, clinching the next two games and sealing a trip to the quarter-finals.
On he goes!
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 17, 2023
Earlier on Thursday, Alexander Zverev battled past world number three Daniil Medvedev 6-4 5-7 6-4 to end a four-match losing streak against the Russian.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, the fourth seed, is out after he was beaten 6-3 6-4 by Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who recorded a first win over a top-10 ranked player in six matches.
Hurkacz goes on to play lucky loser Alexei Popyrin after the Australian earlier defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2 1-6 6-3 to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.
Zverev will face Adrian Mannarino in the last eight. The Frenchman progressed after American wildcard Mackenzie McDonald retired during the second set of their third-round match, with Mannarino ahead 6-4 3-0.
The run of veteran Swiss Stan Wawrinka – who had been given a wildcard entry and knocked out 10th seed Frances Tiafoe in the last round – was ended with a 6-4 6-2 defeat by qualifier Max Purcell.
The Australian, who upset world number seven Casper Ruud on Wednesday, will next face Alcaraz.