Canberra ACT, Australia, 11 January 2018 | David Packman

Hungarian Marton Fucsovics eased into the semifinals of the East Hotel Canberra Challenger on Thursday with a 6-4 6-4 win over improving Frenchman Hugo Grenier.

After a break-out year in 2017 in which he entered the world’s top 100 for the first time, the 25-year-old said he was enjoying tennis in Canberra.

“I’m playing well in preparation for the Australian Open,” he said. “Last year I improved a lot, so now I want to play more ATP events and Grand Slams.”

Grenier, 21, playing in his debut ATP Challenger quarterfinal, provided some stiff resistance, but in the end was found somewhat lacking for experience.

“I had a tough opponent today, he was fighting for every point and serving well,” said Fucsovics. “But I managed to make the two breaks and that was the key.”

The sixth seed and world No.85 will be looking to continue his good form when he takes on another Frenchman, Maxime Janvier, in Friday’s semifinal. Should he secure the win, he will hope to keep his perfect ATP Challenger finals record intact, having won his four titles from four appearances.

In other quarterfinal action, the higher seeds both fell, with Italian seventh seed, Andreas Seppi, upsetting Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (No.3) in straight sets and Victor Estrella Burgos from the Dominican Republic surviving a lopsided second set to defeat Florian Mayer (No.2) of Germany 7-6(4) 0-6 6-3.

The last remaining Australians were also eliminated from the tournament with Steven De Waard and his Japanese partner Ben Mclachlan losing to the tops seeds of Hans Podlipnik-Castillo of Chile and Belarusian Andrei Vasilevski in a doubles semifinal, while Queenslander Gavin Van Peperzeel, who teamed up with Seppi in Canberra, lost to second seeds Jonathan Erlich of Israel and Indian Divij Sharan, both in straight sets.

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Photo: Ben Southall