Geneva, Switzerland, 24 May 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Geneva, Switzerland

Chris O’Connell has progressed to his third ATP-level clay-court quarterfinal of the season.

The 28-year-old Australian was leading 6-0 3-0 when Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles retired with a left knee injury in their second-round clash at an ATP 250 tournament in Geneva.

O’Connell had conceded only four points on serve against the world No.37 at that stage and just 15 points in total.

It is O’Connell’s 10th career top-50 victory and fourth this season.

Three of his top-50 wins have come during an outstanding clay-court season. O’Connell defeated world No.16 Alexander Zverev during a semifinal run in Munich and beat world No.31 Botic van de Zandschulp to reach the Marrakech quarterfinals.

World No.85 O’Connell has now won 11 of his 16 matches on clay in 2023.

He’ll look to continue this impressive form when he plays world No.33 Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the Geneva semifinals.

This is their second career meeting. O’Connell made his Grand Slam debut, as a wildcard entry at Australian Open 2017, against the Bulgarian and labelled a straight-set loss as one of the biggest learning curves of his career.

“I just felt I was rushed the whole time,” O’Connell related in 2020, noting that experience inspired him to “adapt to that level of tennis”.

Dimitrov, a former world No.3, is looking to reach only his second clay-court semifinal in the past five years.

Aussies 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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