sport

Montanes continues title defence

Albert Montanes is three wins away from successfully defending his Open de Nice Cote d'Azur title after beating lucky loser Sam Querrey.

The first-round results meant the Spaniard had been preparing for a repeat of the 2013 final in which he stunned local favourite Gael Monfils, but the Frenchman's withdrawal through injury saw failed qualifier Querrey recalled.

The American took the first set against Montanes - the world number 61 - but ultimately suffered a 4-6 6-3 6-2 loss inside two hours.

Waiting for Montanes in the quarter-finals is Argentina's Leonardo Mayer, who inflicted a 6-4 3-6 7-5 defeat on eighth seed and home hopeful Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Top seed John Isner dispatched fellow American Jack Sock 6-4 6-3 to book a showdown with seventh-seeded Federico Delbonis.

The Argentinian world number 45 eliminated another Frenchman in the shape of Paul-Henri Mathieu, who lost 6-2 6-4.

Angers-born Nicolas Mahut - the sixth seed - followed Mathieu out of the tournament thanks to Carlos Berlocq as the Argentinian reached the last eight with a 6-2 6-3 win that pits him against Gilles Simon.

The French number four skilfully navigated a difficult battle with 20-year-old Austrian Dominic Thiem in the last match of the day to win 6-3 4-6 6-3.

The fourth quarter-final will see second seed Ernests Gulbis tackle fifth seed Dmitry Tursunov.

The Latvian was a 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-1 winner over Martin Klizan while Russian Tursunov edged out Robin Haase 6-3 6-4.