Chris O’Connell advanced to his third clay court quarterfinal at the ATP level this season.
The 28-year-old Australian was leading 6-0, 3-0 when Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles retired from a left knee injury in the second round of the ATP 250 tournament in Geneva.
O’Connell only lost four points on serve against world No. 37 at this stage and only 15 points overall.
This is O’Connell’s 10th career top 50 win and fourth of the season.
Three of his top 50 wins came during a stellar clay court season. O’Connell defeated world No. 16 Alexander Zverev in the semi-final run in Munich and defeated world No. 31 Botic van de Zandschulp to advance to the quarter-finals in Marrakesh.
World No. 85 O’Connell has now won 11 of his 16 matches on clay in 2023.
He will look to continue this impressive form by playing with world No. 33 Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the semi-finals in Geneva.
This is their second career meeting. O’Connell made his Grand Slam debut as a wildcard at the 2017 Australian Open against the Bulgarian and described the loss as one of the biggest learning curves of his career.
“I just felt like I was rushing all the time,” O’Connell reported in 2020, noting that the experience inspired him to “adapt to this level of tennis.”
Dimitrov, the former world No. 3, is only looking to advance to his second clay-court semi-final in the last five years.
Australians in action – Geneva
Men’s singles, second round
Chris O’Connell (AUS) d (7) Bernabe Zapata Miralles (ESP) 6-0 3-0 ret.
Men’s Singles Quarterfinals
Chris O’Connell (AUS) v (4) Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
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