Reigning champion Borna Coric reached the quarter-finals of the ATP 500 tournament in Halle on Wednesday after battling his way to a 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 7-6 (7/4) win over Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

The fourth-seeded Croatian got the better of Sousa in a three-hour slog to set up a quarter-final tie with France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Herbert fought back to beat Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 2-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 and reach the quarter-finals earlier on Wednesday.

“This is my first time in Halle, so I am very happy,” said Herbert.

Local hero Jan-Lennard Struff went down fighting against third seed Karen Khachanov in his first ever second-round appearance in Halle.

Russian Khachanov prevailed over a hard-fought three sets to beat Struff 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 and book his place in the last eight.

“I won’t dwell on this defeat. I’ve never started the grass season this well,” said Struff, who reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart last week.

Belgium’s David Goffin came from behind to beat Moldovan Radu Albot 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and set up a potential quarter-final clash with home favourite Alexander Zverev.

World number five Zverev had his second round game against Steve Johnson pushed back to Thursday as he attempts to recover from a minor knee injury.

The German slipped and hurt himself during his first-round win over Robin Haase on Monday, and pulled out of the doubles draw a day later.

First seed Roger Federer is also in action on Thursday, as he takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round.