Darcis advances to SAP Open quarterfinals


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Steve Darcis upset former champion and fourth-seeded Radek Stepanek in the afternoon session of the second round of the SAP Open, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7) on Thursday.

Stepanek of the Czech Republic is ranked 29th in the world while Darcis is ranked 72nd in the world and is 22nd-seed of the tournament.

Belgium's Darcis needed tiebreakers in both sets to defeat the 2009 SAP Open champion.

It was the first meeting between the two since 2008 when they split their two matches.

Fifth-seeded Julien Benneteau of France defeated Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, 6-2, 6-4 and will face Darcis in the quarterfinals.

It was the first meeting between the two since 2005 when Mueller defeated Benneteau on grass.

Benneteau is ranked 34th in the world while Muller is 70th.

Anderson ranked 35th in the world took advantage of two day's rest when he beat a tired Ebden. The Australian had played a 2:30 match on Wednesday night to advance to the second round. It was the first meeting between the two.

Qualifier Dimitar Kutrovsky of Bulgaria beat Blake Strode, 7-5, 6-3 to also advance to the quarterfinals.

Strode, playing in his first ATP main draw match, was a last minute substitution for defending champion Gael Monfils who withdrew from the tournament with an inflamed tendon on Wednesday night. The US-born Strode is ranked 393rd in the world.

The 435th ranked Kutrovsky will face the winner of the Robby Ginepri-Ryan Harrison match in the quarterfinals.

And the winner of the Michael Russell-Denis Istomin match will square off against second-seeded and tournament favorite Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals.

Roddick is playing with a slight tear in his right hamstring sustained during the Australian Open. He also twisted his right ankle during his match against Denis Kurda.