Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Świątek, the best rackets in the world, overcame adversity and weather conditions on Thursday, reaching the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati tournament.

After a match marred by two rain stoppages totaling 2 hours and 35 minutes, Alcaraz defeated 14th seeded American Tommy Paul (who had defeated him himself in Toronto last Friday), in three sets of 7-6 (6), 6-7 (0) and 6-3. The match lasted 3 hours and 9 minutes.

“You have to stay focused,” said Alcaraz, the defending US Open and Wimbledon champion. It’s not easy to play, quit, play and quit again. All you can really do is be ready to play. »

Alcaraz had three match points in the 12th game of the second set, a game that totaled 24 points and lasted over 15 minutes.

“The big difference [this time] is he won and I lost,” Paul said, comparing Thursday’s game to the one he won in Toronto.

Świątek adjusted to strong winds and secured her place in the next round, where 10th seed Markéta Vondroušová awaits her.

Świątek beat China’s Zheng Qinwen 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. The latter had eliminated Venus Williams on Wednesday.

Vondroušová reached the next round with a 7-5, 6-3 win over American Sloane Stephens.

Third seed Daniil Medvedev was eliminated by 16th seed Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Hubert Hurkacz prevailed 6-3, 6-4 against the fourth seed of the tournament, Stéfanos Tsitsipás.

After a title in Montreal last week, American and third seed Jessica Pegula was eliminated 6-4, 6-0 by Marie Bouzková.

Karolína Muchová also surprised with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory over eighth seed María Sákkari.

At the end of the evening, the second seed Novak Djokovic beat the Frenchman Gael Monfils in two sets of 6-3 and 6-2.

Monfils won six-to-one for the aces, but could only do better than 21% on second ball.

However, he took advantage of his only break point of the match, even if Djokovic was also opportunistic (four for five).

Elena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur advanced to the next round following withdrawals from their rivals for health reasons.