WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — American Sam Querrey edged Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 4-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (12) on Wednesday to advance to the Winston-Salem Open quarterfinals.
Querrey had 19 aces, but lost the first set to the left-handed Nieminen after leading 4-1. Querrey then had to overcome five match points in the third-set tiebreaker to advance to his fourth tournament quarterfinals this season.
"I just played some sloppy points (in the first set)," Querrey said. "I missed a few when I was up 4-2, and I missed some easy forehands later on. That kind of got me down, and it took a while for me to get back into it.
"That was just a lack of confidence right out of the gate ... but I knew that if I could get into a tiebreaker, I could win my serve and grind out a few points on his serve."
The 29th-ranked Querrey will face unseeded Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.
"It's always painful to lose a tight match," Nieminen said. "When it got to 6-6 (in the third-set tiebreaker), I saw that he looked tired. That's when I stopped playing the way I did before, and missed some shots. I wanted to make him run, but I should have gone for my shots like I did before."
Querrey is the lone American player remaining in the final hard-court tournament before the U.S. Open next week.
Qualifier Steve Johnson, who upset second-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy on Tuesday, lost to Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun 6-3, 6-2.
In other third-round results Wednesday, Jurgen Melzer of Austria beat Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-3; Dmitry Tursunov topped fellow Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3, 7-5; and Spain's Fernando Verdasco downed Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-7 (10), 6-3.
Tommy Robredo, at No. 22 the highest-ranked player remaining in the tournament, faced France's Gael Monfils in the night match.