American Steve Johnson, buoyed with confidence following his career-best win over World No. 7 Dominic Thiem on Tuesday, was super consistent and solid on serve — winning 25 of his 27 first-service points — to beat last week’s Shenzhen Open finalist, Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2017.
Johnson, who is through to the Tokyo quarter-finals for the second time (also 2014, on his tournament debut), is now 28-17 on the season that includes his second ATP World Tour title at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship (d. Bellucci). He will next play eighth-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the last eight at the Ariake Colosseum.
France’s Richard Gasquet saved two break points in his first service game and won nine of the first 10 games before Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei fought back. Gasquet, the 2007 runner-up, ultimately won 6-3, 7-6(5) in 89 minutes and now awaits fourth-seeded Belgian David Goffin or Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden.