World No 7 Andrey Rublev pulled off a straight sets win over Yannick Hanfmann to reach the Halle grass-court quarterfinals on Thursday, avenging a shock defeat to the German in Rome last month.
Rublev, the runner-up in 2021, came through against his 53rd-ranked rival 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.
Hanfmann had led 5/3 in the tiebreak but was unable to push on and repeat his last-16 win on the Rome clay on the eve of the French Open.
“The important thing was I was able to win against a tough player like Yannick,” said Rublev.
“The last time he beat me and he’s playing better and better. Especially on grass, he’s even tougher to play against because he has such a good serve and a good game at the net.”
Rublev will be playing in his sixth quarterfinal of the season on Friday when he faces either defending champion Hubert Hurkacz or last week’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch winner Tallon Griekspoor.
Despite winning 13 titles, Rublev has yet to capture a grass-court crown.
Jannik Sinner came out on top in an all-Italian clash against Lorenzo Sonego to reach the quarterfinals.
Sinner, ranked at nine in the world, saved all eight break points he faced to clinch a tough 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4 second-round triumph.
Sinner will next face Alexander Bublik who reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 victory against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
Bublik hit 43 winners, including 23 aces as he reached his second quarterfinal of the season.