Playford, South Australia, 31 October 2019 | Asher Packman

South Australian Luke Saville continued his run at the City of Playford International II on Wednesday, reaching the quarterfinals with a spirited win over No.12 seed, Akira Santillan.

Saville battled hard from a one-set deficit to take the win over the Queenslander 3-6 7-6(2) 6-2. “He’s got a really good level,” Saville, 25, said of Santillan. “Were pretty solid mates, we all know each other very well.”

It was a difficult day in Playford, with the wind and heat providing a testing backdrop. “I felt like I handled it pretty well, and I’m really happy with where I’m at. I’ve played a lot of matches and I’ve got some momentum going,” said the former world No.152. “I’m pumped to be in another quarters and not done with yet.

“I want to bring my aggressive game style and frame of mind – day in, day out. I’ve concluded that’s my best way of breaking through and winning matches. When I get it right, it shows that’s it’s pretty effective.”

The local favourite is enjoying his time on home soil. “I’ve had my mum come down, some relatives and a few mates. I definitely feel like they get around me a bit here so it’s all positive and I really want to put my best foot forward.”

Saville, looking for his first ATP Challenger final since June, 2015 in Canberra, will next take on last week’s Traralgon titlist Marc Polmans. “Marc’s looking the goods at the moment, he’s in good form and it’s always a difficult match-up. He’s a tough competitor and he’s pretty driven right now, but so am I, and I know what I do well. I’ll bring that forward tomorrow,” he said.

The South Aussie charge continued with Alex Bolt overcoming Japan’s Hiroki Moriya (No.11) 6-4 6-0, while top seed Yasutaka Uchiyama had a relatively straight forward straight sets victory over another Japanese countryman, Yosuke Watanuki (No.15). Uchiyama faces Victorian Andrew Harris (No.6), a three-set winner over Max Purcell.

Bolt will need to get past third seed Tatsuma Ito to continue his run while the remaining quarterfinal sees James Duckworth (No.2) clash with Brit Jay Clarke.

Meanwhile, top seed Priscilla Hon crashed out of the women’s event with a 7-5 6-2 loss to Japan’s Chihiro Muramatsu, and in the longest match of the day, fellow Queenslander Lizette Cabrera (No.3) defeated Hiroko Kuwata of Japan 3-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and six minutes.

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