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Norrie Takes Down Draper To Reach Queen's Club SF

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2021

Great Britains Cameron Norrie eased past compatriot Jack Draper 6-3, 6-3 to reach his first semi-final at the cinch Championships in London on Friday.

Norrie, who is currently at a career-high No. 41 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, moved to 28-12 on the season as he hit two aces and won 67 per cent (29/43) of points on his first serve to advance in 86 minutes and end the 19-year-old’s run at the Queen’s Club.

”With the conditions, it was very different compared to the last couple of days,” Norrie said. “Jack has been playing some really good tennis, and all credit to him, he was serving big. I think the slower conditions today suited me a little bit more. I managed to play some really good tennis towards the end of the first set and start of the second.

“It was not easy as the court was pretty slippery towards the end, but I am really pleased to be through. I am happy with how I handled everything. It is a lot of fun to have this momentum and keep it rolling, but I think there are a lot of things I can improve on still.”

The Brit, who has reached finals at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (l. to Tsitsipas) and the Millennium Estoril Open (l. to Ramos-Vinolas) this year, beat fifth-seeded Russian Aslan Karatsev in the second round.

In their first ATP Head2Head meeting, Norrie broke early to move 2-1 ahead. The 25-year-old continued to dominate from the baseline, breaking again to seal the set in 43 minutes.


Norrie raced to a 3-0 lead at the start of the second, as the British wild card struggled on serve, winning 58 per cent (7/12) of his first-serve points. While Draper stayed in touch, he failed to convert three break point opportunities in the sixth game, and Norrie went on to close out victory on serve.

Draper, who is currently No. 309 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, was contesting just his second ATP Tour event this week after he played at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March. The left hander recorded a maiden ATP Tour victory against #NextGenATP star Jannik Sinner in the first round before beating Alexander Bublik on Wednesday.

Norrie will play either second-seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov or American Frances Tiafoe in the semi-finals on Saturday. Shapovalov, who reached the Gonet Geneva Open final (l. to Ruud) in May, won the opening set 6-3, hitting four aces, before bad light ended play for the day.

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Krawietz/Tecau Reach Halle Final

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2021

Third seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau overcame sixth seeds Joran Vliegen and Sander Gille 7-6(6), 7-5 to reach the final of the NOVENTI OPEN on Friday in Halle.

Last week’s Roland Garros quarter-finalists (l. to Cabal/Farah), saved a set point in the opener and won 93 per cent (39/42) of their first-service points to advance in 89 minutes.

The German-Romanian tandem could face fifth seeds Michael Venus and Tim Puetz in the final after they defeated Americans Sam Querrey and Austin Krajicek 6-3, 6-4 in the quarter-finals. They will play Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals.

Venus and Puetz hit eight aces and saved all three break points they faced to advance. It is the first time the team has played together this year, with Puetz winning titles at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon and the Millennium Estoril Open with partner Hugo Nys.

Last year’s Rolex Paris Masters champions Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz eased past Lloyd Harris and Jonathan Erlich 6-3, 6-4 in 73 minutes.

The pair stormed into a 4-1 lead in the opening set and closed it out as they won 77 per cent (17/22) of their first-service points in the first set. They then raced through the final set to advance.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut’s match against Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald was cancelled at the cinch Championships due to rain in London.

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Berrettini Overcomes Evans To Reach Queen's Club SF

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2021

Top-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini moved past Daniel Evans 7-6(5), 6-3 at the cinch Championships in London on Friday to reach his third ATP Tour career semi-final on grass.

“I didn’t serve that well, but I was returning well and I just played better in the last few points of the tie-break,” Berrettini said. “After that, I felt more confident. The conditions were really tough, windy and cold, so I took time to adapt a little bit. I am pretty happy with my performance.

“The court condition was really good. I expected slippery conditions, but it was like yesterday. I came here to win the tournament, that is my goal. Now I am two steps away, I will think about the next match tomorrow. I am happy with the way I am playing, and my mental attitude is really good.”

No. 9 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Berrettini improved to 24-6 on the season, having lifted the trophy at the Serbia Open (d. Karatsev) and reached the final at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Zverev). Berrettini has had success on this surface before, having won the MercedesCup in Stuttgart in 2019 (d. Auger-Aliassime).

The No. 1 Italian hit 13 aces and won 81 per cent (38/48) of his first-service points against Evans to advance in one hour and 40 minutes.

In a first ATP Head2Head meeting between the two, both fended off break points at the start of the match as they acclimatised to the damp conditions. After Evans battled through a mammoth game to lead 3-2, the set continued on serve as it reached a tie-break, which Berrettini won after Evans could only push a defensive forehand long.


At the start of the second, Berrettini hammered down four straight aces as he moved 2-1 ahead. The 25-year-old won 57 per cent (8/14) of points on Evans first serve in the second set and broke in the eighth game before closing out victory on serve.

Sixth seed Evans had not dropped a set on his way to the quarter-finals, beating Alexei Popyrin and Adrian Mannarino, but he fell on Friday, meaning the Murray River Open champion (d. Auger-Aliassime) now holds a 14-11 record this season.

Berrettini will now play fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the semi-finals on Saturday.

The Australian de Minaur fought back to defeat former two-time titlist Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and five minutes to advance to the semi-finals on Friday. The 22-year-old, who is currently No. 22 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, won 73 per cent (22/30) of his second-service points and saved 6 of the 7 break points he faced as he moved to 16-12 for the season.

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Rublev: 'I Can Still Improve On Grass'

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2021

Andrey Rublev believes he can still vastly improve on the grass after he defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber to reach the NOVENTIOPEN semi-finals in Halle on Friday.

Rublev, who is currently No. 7 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, has a 13-8 career record on the surface, but had only won four ATP Tour main draw matches on grass prior to this run this week.  

“I have adapted to the grass, but there are so many things I can still improve on the grass. For example, with the slice, the volley, and moving better,” Rublev said. “Also, defending on grass, because it is different, you can’t defend with high balls like on clay, so I think I am still far away.

“In general, though, because my game is to play aggressively. If you play aggressive, this helps you a lot on grass, so I think my game for this surface is ok. Philipp Kohlschreiber is good on this surface, so this match has given me confidence.”

The fourth-seeded Russian is now 28-2 at ATP 500 tournaments since the ATP Tour resumed from the COVID-19 suspension in August 2020. However, Rublev lost in the first round to Jan-Lennard Struff at Roland Garros but insists his focus is now on the semi-finals in Halle. He was pleased with his performance on Friday.

“The past is the past; I can’t change it. I would have liked to have great results in Paris, but I played a tough opponent in Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. Now I try to focus on the grass with Halle, where I am in the semi-finals and trying to do my best,” Rublev said.

“I think I was playing really well today. I was feeling the ball well, I was confident in my shots and my serve. In the tie-break, he had a mini-break and had good chances but straight away I told myself to just keep playing and fighting, and in the end, I somehow managed to turn it around. It will be a tough task against Nikoloz Basilashvili in the semi-finals as he hits the ball flat on the grass.”


Moving his focus to Wimbledon, while the Russian feels that the news that Rafael Nadal will not compete at the Grand Slam will help him, Rublev is still wary of the other names in the draw.

“Of course, for the players like me, with Rafael Nadal not playing, it is a big advantage for me as I am going to be a higher seed now,” Rublev admitted. “But there are so many guys that are really tough to play on grass. For example, imagine having Struff in the first round of Wimbledon or Nick Kyrigos. On grass, it is so tough to play players who serve well so who knows.”

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Felix Soars Past Giron To Reach Halle SF

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2021

Felix Auger-Aliasssime needed just 59 minutes to power past American qualifier Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2 on Friday and book a spot into the NOVENTI OPEN semi-finals.

The 20-year-old Canadian continued his grass-swing momentum in Halle, where he arrived high on confidence after reaching the final in Stuttgart (l. to Cilic). Auger-Aliassime improved to 20-12 on the season after reaching his third semi-final of the year (also Melbourne 2).

“I’ve been playing well these past two weeks, believing in myself a lot and dominating my service games,” Auger-Aliassime said. “As soon as I got the break [in the first set], I feel like I loosened up and things were just going better and better. 

“I don’t think Marcos played his best match, I’ve seen him play great matches before and beat Top 10 opponents… but in the end, I think I was able to put a lot of pressure on him and dictate the points. So I can be happy with my performance.”

Auger-Aliassime had to hit reset and refocus after achieving one of the biggest wins of his career in the last round, when he came back from a set down to upset Roger Federer, his childhood idol and a 10-time Halle champion.

“The main goal was to refocus. I received a lot of messages and attention, and those kinds of things can be tricky,” he admitted. “They can take you out of your ‘zone’ and your focus on the tournament. 

“And maybe the outside doesn’t understand that as much, because even though it looks like I’ve won ‘easy’, I still have to come out and play good tennis and a good match. I think I made a good effort, stayed in my zone, and came out and played great again.”


Auger-Aliassime fired 25 winners and just seven unforced errors across two sets against qualifier Giron, who was seeking a place in his first tour-level semi-final. The Canadian’s big serve helped him take control of the rallies and shut down Giron’s chances, winning 93 per cent (28/30) of points behind his first serves. 

Auger-Aliassime saved the only break point he faced at 2-2 in the opening set, and never looked back as he raced to a break of his own in the next game to lead 4-2. He dropped just one point behind his serve in a dominant second set, taking the lead with a double break. The Canadian fired his 14th ace of the match to set up match point, and backed it up with a powerful unreturned serve to seal the victory. 

He will next face French lefty Ugo Humbert, who continued his great run in Halle with a 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4 victory over #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda.

“This is my favourite surface, but it was really tough today” Humbert said. “Sebastian played amazing, he is a really great player with a great attitude. It was very tough, but it is a nice victory… a very great battle.”

Humbert had to overcome some big names to book his spot into his second career tour-level grass-court semi-final (also 2019 Newport), taking down Sam Querrey in his opening match before toppling third seed Alexander Zverev in three sets. 

He was in for a battle against 20-year-old Korda, who was competing at the first tour-level grass-court event of his career. Humbert dictated play in the first set with his backhand, but had to contend with the big-hitting American’s firepower in the second as Korda found his footing. 

Humbert saved a set point at 5-4 as he took them into a tie-break, and was two points away from clinching the victory after working his way to 5/5. But Korda powered through, taking the set as Humbert pushed a forehand long. 

Korda struck 28 winners and 25 unforced errors throughout the match – 15 of those errors came off the forehand side, and three came in the last game of the match as the American served to stay in the match. Humbert and Korda had been locked on serve through the third set. But as the Frenchman applied the pressure on the Korda forehand wing the cracks began to show and an error into the net sealed his spot into his first ATP 500 semi-final.

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Play Underway At The Queen's Club After Rain Delays On Friday

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2021

The quarter-finals at the cinch Championships will get underway at 4:15 p.m. local time after they were delayed on Friday due to rain in London. Play was meant to commence at midday with a clash between fourth-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur and former two-time titlist Marin Cilic on centre court. After a four-hour delay, their match will now take place on court one. 

Top seed Matteo Berrettini, who defeated former champion Andy Murray at the Queen’s Club on Thursday, is set to face another Brit, Dan Evans after the sixth seed overcame Adrian Mannarino. This match is scheduled to commence on centre court at 4:15 p.m. local time.

British pair Cameron Norrie and 19-year-old Jack Draper are also scheduled to be in action later after Berrettini’s match, in what will be their first ATP Head2Head meeting. It is the first time Britain has had three or more singles players in the quarter-finals at The Queen’s Club in the Open Era.

Lastly, second seed Denis Shapovalov is due to face American Frances Tiafoe on court one, with Roland Garros doubles champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut’s match against Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald cancelled.

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Rublev Moves Into Halle Semi-finals

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2021

Andrey Rublev raised his game when he needed to on Friday to reach the NOVENTI OPEN semi-finals.

The fourth-seeded Russian improved to 28-2 at ATP 500 tournaments since the ATP Tour resumed from the COVID-19 suspension in August 2020 with a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in 81 minutes.

“I am happy with my performance to reach the semi-finals for the first time,” said Rublev, who hit 29 winners to book a place in his sixth ATP Tour semi-final of the year. “The first set was really tough. He was 3/0 up in the tie-break and I came back, which was the key. After the first set, I think he mentally went down and I was pumped up. I hit a couple of good returns in the first game of the second set.”

Rublev, currently at a career-high No. 7 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, will next meet Lloyd Harris of South Africa or Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili. Rublev beat Harris in the 2020 Adelaide International final and is 2-2 versus Basilashvili in their ATP Head2Head series. 


Wild card Kohlschreiber did very little wrong in a high-quality first set at the OWL Arena in Halle, but let slip a 3/0 lead in the tie-break. From that point, Rublev won 16 of the next 21 points, securing the 49-minute opener with a fine backhand slice winner down the line, and took a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Rublev began to read Kohlschreiber’s serve and broke with a backhand winner for 5-2 in the second set. The 23-year-old soon closed out his 32nd match win of the season (32-9 record), which includes the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament crown (d. Fucsovics) in March. He also finished as runner-up in his first ATP Masters 1000 final in April at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Tsitsipas).

Kohlschreiber, 37, was attempting to reach an ATP Tour semi-final for the first time since the 2019 ASB Classic in Auckland (l. to Sandgren).

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