Former Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic kept his focus to beat Alexander Bublik 7-6 (6), 7-5 and advance to the quarterfinals of the Queen’s Club on Wednesday.
Tommy Paul upset sixth-seeded Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in a first-round match at the grass-court tournament, and Botic van de Zandschulp reached the quarterfinals by beating Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (5), 6-3.
The seventh-seeded Cilic, a two-time Queen’s champion making his 15th appearance at the tournament, saved three set points after trailing 5-0 in the first-set tiebreaker.
Bublik fell behind 3-0 in the second set and used an array of underarm serves and drop shots to get back on serve. But his second double fault in the last game set up match point for his Croatian opponent, who earned his 34th victory at Queen’s.
“The game plan against Alexander is to keep focus, you never know what is coming,” said Cilic, a finalist at Wimbledon in 2017. “He made it a little bit crazy in that second set and out of nowhere started to do these underarms serves and slices and drop shots, and just breaking up the rhythm.”
The 33-year-old Cilic, the champion in 2012 and 2018, will next face qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori, who beat Britan’s Jack Draper 6-2, 7-6 (2).
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Alex de Minaur 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to set up a quarterfinal match against Van de Zandschulp.
Paul will face Stan Wawrinka in the second round.