Becker surprises Chardy in Malaysian Open second round

Jeremy Chardy suffered a surprise second-round defeat to Benjamin Becker at the Malaysian Open as Nick Kyrgios and Ivo Karlovic both progressed to the quarter-finals.

Sixth seed Chardy was beaten in two hours and five minutes by the world number 74, who shrugged off the 48-place disparity in the rankings to win 5-7 6-1 7-5.

Chardy had won the only previous meeting between the two at the 2013 French Open and appeared to take command as Becker dropped his final service game of the first set, and Chardy promptly served out to love.

But Becker responded by forcing a decider in emphatic fashion and going 2-0 up in the third, only for Chardy to rattle off three straight games.

Becker was not to be denied, though, and snatched a crucial break for a 6-5 lead and stood firm on serve to progress to the last eight.

Enigmatic Australian seventh seed Kyrgios cruised to a 6-3 6-2 victory against Tatsuma Ito in just 55 minutes, the two-time grand slam quarter-finalist serving 12 aces in the process.

Karlovic’s progress was much less straightforward as he needed three sets to get past Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5 4-6 6-3.

Elsewhere in the draw Joao Sousa, fresh off his run to the final of the St Petersburg Open, beat Michal Przysiezny 6-2 6-2 in the first round. Wednesday’s other opening-round match saw qualifier Mischa Zverev overcome Rajeev Ram 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3.