London: Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas came perilously close to joining a host of big names exiting at Queen's on Thursday by coming from a set down to beat journeyman Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 4-6, 7-6 (7/0), 7-6 (7/4) and reach the quarter-finals.
The 20-year-old Greek came through two matches to reach the last eight having polished off his rain-delayed first-round clash with Kyle Edmund earlier in the day.
Resuming at 3-3 in the second set, Tsitsipas eventually sealed a 6-3, 7-5 win against the British number one on his seventh match point.
Tsitsipas struggled to overcome 32-year-old Chardy when he returned to the centre court for a near three-hour contest that will have drained the Greek's resources for Friday's quarter-final with Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Canadian rising star Auger-Aliassime also came through two matches on Thursday as Nick Kyrgios made a characteristically explosive exit.
The Australian accused a line judge of match-rigging in his first-round victory over Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.
Worse was to come for the world number 39 when he lost to Auger-Aliassime in a battle of big servers.
After two tie-breaks were split in the first two sets, Auger-Aliassime secured the only break of the match in the 36th and final game to win 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/3), 7-5.
"I thought some of the calls were outrageous today," said Kyrgios, who has been routinely fined for his on-court outbursts.
"I just don't think, at this level of sport, that we should have line judges and umpires that aren't making the right decisions. And I know what happens. Nothing happens.
"Why can't they get fined for having a terrible day in the chair? Like, there's hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. It's not a joke."
Auger-Aliassime had earlier seen off Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4.
Elsewhere, defending champion Marin Cilic, Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson and three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka were the big names to crash out.
Fifth-seeded Cilic – who also won the Queen's title in 2012 and reached the final on two other occasions – went down 6-4, 6-4 to 26-year-old Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, who is appearing at Queen's for the first time and recorded just his third win on the surface.
Anderson, the second seed, looked understandably rusty in his first tournament since March due to injury.
The veteran South African battled back from a set down to Gilles Simon, but the Frenchman prevailed 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
And Wawrinka was shocked by 37-year-old French qualifier Nicolas Mahut, who came from a set down and a break down in the deciding set to win 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/2).
Updated Date: Jun 21, 2019 11:48:02 IST