Memphis: Top seed Marin Cilic of Croatia survived three match points in a third-set tiebreaker against Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands to advance to the quarter-finals of the U.S. National Indoor Championships with a 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6 (7) victory on Thursday.
Cilic, the world's 12th-ranked player, battled Sijsling for more than 2½ hours and saved four break points in the 11th game of the third set to take a 6-5 lead. He squandered a match point with Sijsling serving at 5-6 in the third set. Sijsling double-faulted on his third match point of the tiebreaker and lost when he netted a forehand from behind the baseline.
The win moved Cilic - who won his ninth ATP Tour title two weeks ago in Zagreb, Croatia - into the quarter-finals against fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan, who advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over qualifier Donald Young of the U.S. Also, Marinko Matosevic of Australia eliminated fourth-seeded American Sam Querrey 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a match that lasted almost two hours.
Querrey had saved one match point in the deciding game, but double-faulted to send the advantage back to Matosevic. After a long rally from the baseline, Querrey sailed a forehand long, giving the Australian a berth in the quarter-finals.
Matosevic, ranked 53rd in the world, said he was pleased with his play after dropping the opening set. He said returning serve is one of his strengths, and despite Querrey recording 15 aces, Matosevic was able to keep some of his 135-mph serves in play "and win the rally."
"I started to return a little bit better, and probably the major thing was I picked up my serve percentage," Matosevic said of his play in the last two sets. "I started to get a few more free points and started to hold my own serve a little bit easier."
Also advancing were No. 7 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan and American Michael Russell.
Dolgopolov beat American qualifier Rhyne Williams 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Istomin defeated former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia 6-1, 6-2; and Russell won 6-2, 6-4 over Lukasz Kubot of Poland.
Earlier in the women's quarter-finals, top-seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium was eliminated by Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, the No. 7 seed, 6-7 (11), 7-5, 6-3.
Flipkens' loss meant the tournament's top two seeds in the women's draw have been eliminated. Second-seeded Sofia Arvidsson lost her second-round match to Marina Erakovic on Wednesday.
And fourth-seeded Heather Watson of Britain also lost Thursday, 6-1, 6-2 to Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland. That left Sabine Lisicki of Germany as the only player in the top half of the draw to move on to the semi-finals after she defeated eighth-seeded Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-3.
In Friday's semi-finals, Voegele will play Erakovic of New Zealand, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over Jamie Hampton of the United States on Thursday, while Lisicki and Rybarikova will face off in the other match.