Playford, Cowell SA, Australia, 4 January 2018 | David Packman

Jason Kubler will lead four Australians into the City of Playford Tennis International quarterfinals after the Queensland qualifier defeated No.8 seed Uladzimir Ignatik of Belarus in straight sets on Friday.

“It has been one of those weeks where it was tough just getting through matches,” Kubler said after the 6-4 6-4 win. “But then today turned around and I was hitting the ball nice, so I was really happy with the way things went.”

After an impressive Australian Pro Tour which culminated in him taking the Traralgon ATP Challenger title in October, Kubler decided it was prudent to end his season slightly early in preparation for a fresh assault in 2018.

“I’d played so many matches in such a small amount of time,” the world No.341 said. “I had a few niggles as well, so the thought was to get them right, have a good pre-season and hopefully do well in January.

“Now I’m all fixed, I’ve got some training in and I’m playing pretty well, so it all worked out.”

Kubler, 24, will now meet Alex Bolt in a semifinal, after the recent Australian Open 2018 wildcard recipient defeated Playford wildcard Marc Polmans 6-4 6-3.

Kubler and Bolt last met in the Traralgon final where Kubler took the honours in a deciding set tiebreaker. “I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “Hopefully we have another great match, but I’m just happy to be playing to be honest.”

The pair are joined in the last eight by qualifier Marinko Matosevic – who defeated Russian top seed Daniil Medvedev in the opening round – and wildcard Omar Jasika.

They play the unseeded Canadian Brayden Schnur and American Reilly Opelka respectively.

Rounding out quarterfinal action, Slovakian sixth seed Norbert Gombos will take on American Evan King, a three-set winner over Queenslander Maverick Banes.

Kubler and Banes also won their doubles semifinal on Friday, and will now will face Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Tommy Paul in a bid for the title.

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