He's back! Marcos turned in a brilliant performance to reach the quarterfinals at the BB&T Atlanta Open on Thursday, defeating fifth seed Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 6-1.
Marcos exhibited his top form for one hour and 18 minutes in the scorching heat and humidity in Atlanta, firing 25 winners including six aces, while capitalising on 26 unforced errors by his young American opponent. At 20 years of age, Tiafoe is one of the top rising players on the ATP World Tour, but Marcos was unfazed in securing the victory.
"I was very solid and did not give too many points away once I was in my zone," said Marcos following the match. "I popped some winners and served well. I'm just feeling great on the court. The weather suits my style and I'm familiar with it from back at home. It's hot, I like it. The speed of the courts I like too."
After conceding an early break for 1-3, Marcos recovered nicely, breaking right back in the next game and refusing to drop serve from then on. He would reel off nine of the last 11 games of the match, including three breaks in the second set. Marcos prevailed on his first match point when Tiafoe fired a backhand long.
"It's been a tough year and after Miami I struggled a bit, until Wimbledon. Whatever happens now in the quarter-finals, I'm happy. I try to play every match as it's the same and go as far as I can in the tournament."
Following straight-set wins over Alex Bolt and then Tiafoe, Marcos has reached his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since February. The runner-up in Atlanta in 2015, he will look to go one step further to replicating the feat when he faces fourth seed Matthew Ebden on Friday.
It has been six years since Marcos last faced Ebden. He prevailed in a deciding tie-break in Sydney in 2012, rallying from a set down en route to the semi-finals.