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Krawietz/Mies Down Zverev Brothers In Cologne

  • Posted: Oct 22, 2020

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies booked their place in the bett1HULKS Championship quarter-finals on Thursday with a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev.

In an all-German clash on Court 1, the third seeds broke serve on four occasions to reach the semi-finals in Cologne. Krawietz and Mies were making their first appearance since capturing their second straight Roland Garros crown earlier this month in Paris.


Krawietz and Mies will attempt to extend their seven-match winning streak when they face Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo or Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald in the semi-finals. Kubot and Melo moved past Jonathan Erlich and Hugo Nys 6-4, 6-2 to claim their first win of the tournament.

Australian Open finalists Max Purcell and Luke Saville saved one match point to upset second seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic. The Aussies recovered from 8/9 down in a Match Tie-break to claim a 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 victory. Purcell and Saville will next face Raven Klaasen and Ben McLachlan, who defeated St. Petersburg Open champions Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-4.

Gille/Vliegen Reach Antwerp Semi-finals
Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen advanced to their second straight European Open semi-final on Thursday. The home favourites saved four of five break points to beat Daniel Evans and Cameron Norrie 7-5, 6-3 in 69 minutes. Chasing their first ATP Tour title of 2020, Gille and Vliegen will compete in their third semi-final of the year (0-2) when they face Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop or Alex de Minaur and Matt Reid in their next match.


De Minaur and Reid saved one match point to reach the quarter-finals in Antwerp. The Aussies trailed by a set and a break and needed to save a match point at 8/9 in the Match Tie-break, before claiming three straight points and a place in the last eight.

Pablo Andujar and Sander Arends saved two of three break points to beat Michael Geerts and Yannick Mertens 6-4, 6-1 and reach the European Open semi-finals. The Spanish-Dutch tandem needed just 58 minutes to advance to the semi-finals on its team debut. Andujar and Arends will meet second seeds John Peers and Michael Venus for a place in the championship match.

Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen are chasing their first ATP Tour title since the 2019 Zhuhai Championships.

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Giron Earns First Top 20 Win Against Goffin: 'You Couldn't See He Had Surgeries'

  • Posted: Oct 22, 2020

Marcos Giron earned one of the biggest wins of his career on Thursday, upsetting top seed David Goffin 6-3, 7-5 to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final at the European Open.

The American, who underwent right hip surgery in December 2015 and left hip surgery in February 2016, saved 10 of the 13 break points he faced to claim his first Top 20 victory against the World No. 14. Giron broke the Belgian’s serve five times to halt the home favourite’s chances of lifting a tour-level trophy on home soil.

“I didn’t know [about his surgeries], so after two hip surgeries it’s amazing how he’s moving and how strong he is with the legs, moving left and right,” Goffin said. “You couldn’t see that he had surgeries, so I think he had a good surgeon. Second of all he was moving well, he’s strong, you can see that his legs are really strong and he was really solid from the back. I’m happy to hear that he’s playing his best tennis after two tough surgeries.”

Goffin, the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up, is known for his baseline play, but he made some uncharacteristic errors sporadically during the match, allowing Giron to gain confidence. The Belgian battled from a break down to get back on serve twice in the second set, but he dug himself too many holes and eventually succumbed after one hour and 40 minutes.

“I was fighting the whole match and I think [there were] a lot of ups and downs,” Goffin said. “Sometimes [I played] some good games, sometimes I was playing well, sometimes [I was] aggressive. Sometimes in the game I was completely down with three unforced errors for no reason. It was like that the whole match, so if I… just erase some mistakes, it will be better and better match after match.”


Giron’s previous-best win by FedEx ATP Ranking came against then-World No. 24 Alex de Minaur at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open. Fittingly, the American will try to upset the Aussie again in the Antwerp quarter-finals.

Did You Know?
Giron cracked the world’s Top 100 for the first time on 31 August, just a month after turning 27.

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Schwartzman Cruises In First Match As Top 10 Player

  • Posted: Oct 22, 2020

Diego Schwartzman had no problems in his first match as a Top 10 player, easing past Oscar Otte 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the bett1HULKS Championship.

“It’s not easy coming after a few very good weeks, but I like to play indoors,” Schwartzman said in his on-court interview. “I like to play on these kind of slow, indoor courts. I tried to prepare well last week in Mallorca and then I came here with many days to practise. I think I did everything to play a good match today.”

The World No. 9 is pursuing his first indoor title this week in Cologne, his first tournament since reaching his maiden Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros. Schwartzman won 47 per cent of his return points and earned three service breaks in his one-hour, 20-minute victory. 

“I think everything today was working very good,” Schwartzman said. “I had confidence on court and I felt really well.”


Schwartzman will next play 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The Argentine won their only previous ATP Head2Head meeting in straight sets at this year’s Australian Open.

“I warmed him up [earlier this week], I know him,” Schwartzman said. “He’s a really dangerous player. He plays really fast, he has many abilities on court and he’s young, so he has the confidence and he’s playing good tennis. It’s going to be really tough. I have to recover well, but I’m playing really good tennis, so tomorrow it’s going to be a very nice match to watch.”

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Sinner Strides Into Quarter-finals, Simon Upsets Shapovalov

  • Posted: Oct 22, 2020

Jannik Sinner raced past Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday at the bett1HULKS Championship to reach his third quarter-final of 2020.

The reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion dominated return games, winning 78 per cent of his second-serve return points (18/23) to earn six service breaks. In his first tournament appearance since cracking the Top 50 in the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time on 12 October, Sinner has dropped just seven games to reach the quarter-finals in Cologne. The Italian claimed a 6-1, 6-2 victory against James Duckworth in the first round.

“In the beginning, it was tough for both [of us], trying to understand how each other plays. [There were] a lot of breaks of serve,” said Sinner. “[I was] trying to find the key on how to serve, especially on the break points, at 30-all… I think it was a quite solid performance today.”


Sinner is through to his second quarter-final this season on indoor hard courts. The 19-year-old also reached the last eight at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, beating David Goffin in the second round.

“I’ve never practised with [Pierre-Hugues], I’ve never played with him. He is changing every ball,” said Sinner in an on-court interview. “Knowing that he is a good doubles player, when he is approaching you have to [give] him a difficult ball.”

Sinner will meet Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals. World No. 46 Sinner is aiming to reach his second ATP Tour semi-final, having beaten Gael Monfils en route to the European Open semi-finals in Antwerp last year.

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Raonic Fires 19 Aces To Book Dimitrov Clash In Antwerp

  • Posted: Oct 22, 2020

Milos Raonic produced a fine serving display to reach his fifth quarter-final of the year on Thursday, beating Cameron Norrie 7-5, 7-6(4) at the European Open in Antwerp.

The fifth seed landed 19 aces and dropped just four points behind his first serve (34/38) to overcome the Brit in one hour and 49 minutes. Raonic is through to his second straight quarter-final on indoor hard courts, having reached the semi-finals at last week’s St. Petersburg Open (l. to Coric).


Raonic improves to 19-8 this season and will face Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. Dimitrov will enter his sixth ATP Head2Head encounter against the Canadian with a 3-2 record, but Raonic won the pair’s most recent clash at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open.

Raonic is attempting to capture his first ATP Tour title since beating Roger Federer to win his eighth tour-level trophy at 2016 Brisbane. The World No. 19 has reached seven finals since that triumph, including this year’s Western & Southern Open championship match (l. to Djokovic).

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Five Things To Know About Zizou Bergs

  • Posted: Oct 22, 2020

World No. 528 Zizou Bergs stunned 2017 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Tuesday at the European Open, upsetting the former World No. 17 7-5, 7-5 in his first tour-level match.

“I’m definitely a guy who loves emotions. I have amazing friends, amazing family and I’m playing at home in Belgium, in Antwerp,” Bergs said. “I just love the emotions. I love screaming it out. I love to see [the fans’] reactions. It’s just really why I want to play tennis, because I like the atmosphere… those are things that I live for. It’s the way I want to play, it’s the way I want to enjoy the games and it’s my nature, so I just love the atmosphere.”

Bergs gained confidence in training with the likes of Frances Tiafoe ahead of the tournament. Now he will continue his dream run on Thursday against third seed Karen Khachanov.

Before the match, looks at five things to know about the 21-year-old Belgian.

1) How Zizou Started Tennis
The Belgian began playing tennis at age three with his father Koen Bergs and mother Anne-Mie Driesen. He started at a local tennis club 200 metres from his home and as he grew older, his father was the parent most involved with his tennis development.

Bergs went to the LTA Academy in Belgium when he was eight. At 15, he integrated into the Flemish Federation’s training centre. He climbed as high as World No. 12 as a junior. The three coaches who have influenced his career the most are Tom Devries, Bertrand Tinck and Johan Van Herck.


2) Pushed Felix To The Brink Two Years Ago
While this is Bergs’ first tour-level main draw, he previously attempted to qualify in Antwerp three times. On two of those occasions, he pushed his opponent to a final-set tie-break. Two years ago, the home favourite held two match points against Felix Auger-Aliassime before losing. The 21-year-old used those experiences to his advantage against Ramos-Vinolas.

“Today I proved that I took the experience from the past times and I just kept fighting,” Bergs said. “Eventually things turned my way. It was very nice.”

3) Secret Talent
Like some other players on the ATP Tour, Bergs is a gifted musician. He calls music his secret talent and he enjoys playing the guitar and piano. Other pianists on the ATP Tour include Auger-Aliassime, Ugo Humbert and Corentin Moutet.

4) Basketball & Roddick
Outside of tennis, Bergs’ dream job is becoming a basketball player. His favourite basketball team is the Philadelphia 76ers.

It’s fitting, as Bergs’ idol growing up was former World No. 1 Andy Roddick, who played high school basketball with fellow American star Mardy Fish. Berg also plays aggressively like Roddick, showing no fear of the big stage in Antwerp and enjoying the pressure.

5) Belgian Fries, School & Languages
Who doesn’t like Belgian food? Bergs’ favourite food is Belgian fries.

The right-hander is a management science student at Open University in Belgium. His favourite school subject is math. Bergs speaks three languages: Dutch, French and English.

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