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Five Things To Know About Vit Kopriva, Who Idolised Federer

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2021

Vit Kopriva has had a dream week at the Swiss Open Gstaad. Entering the tournament, the 24-year-old had never competed in an ATP Tour main draw.

Now, the World No. 249 is the second player to reach the semi-finals on his ATP Tour debut since May 2012, joining this year’s Cordoba campion, Juan Manuel Cerundolo. By defeating top seed Denis Shapovalov in the second round, Kopriva became the lowest-ranked player to oust a Top 10 opponent since World No. 698 Thanasi Kokkinakis beat World No. 6 Milos Raonic at The Queen’s Club in 2017.

“This week is amazing. Thursday last week I didn’t even know that I would play qualies. I went here just to try [to get into qualifying], because I was an alternate. I’m enjoying this week and it’s an amazing feeling,” Kopriva told “I can’t believe that I’m playing the semi-finals tomorrow and that I’ve beaten such good players this week. This is just something incredible for me.”

Kopriva had high praise for the Swiss ATP 250, where he is enjoying the scenic views of the local mountains. Before playing Casper Ruud in the semi-finals, Kopriva spoke to Here are five things to know about the Czech player…

He Grew Up Under The Tutelage Of Petra Kvitova’s Father
When people think of Czech tennis, WTA superstar Petra Kvitova quickly comes to mind. Kopriva has a special connection with the lefty, as he trained under her father, Jiri Kvita.

Kopriva’s father enjoyed playing the sport in their town of Fulnek, where Kvitova is from. And that is where Kopriva began training aged six with Kvita. The young Czech played two or three times per week from an early age. He played piano for less than three years, and tennis was the only sport he competed in.

Federer Is His Idol
Czech tennis has a rich history. On the men’s side, Kopriva grew up watching Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek among others. But one player stood above all for the 24-year-old: Roger Federer.

It is fitting that he is enjoying his breakthrough run this week in Gstaad. Not only is it in the 39-year-old’s home country, but Federer lifted the trophy in 2004. Kopriva’s former coach, Jiri Novak, beat Federer in the 2003 Gstaad final, and they have been in touch this week to joke about that moment. Kopriva’s current coach is another Czech, Jaroslav Pospisil.

Rafa’s Book Made A Difference
Although Kopriva idolised Federer, he also holds great respect for Rafael Nadal, another 20-time Grand Slam champion. When the Czech was 15, he read the Spanish legend’s memoir “Rafa”.

“I realised I had to work hard like he did amazingly [well],” Kopriva said. “He spent so many hours on court, so many hours on fitness, and I didn’t at that time. I just started to play more, enjoy more tennis and get more power from that moment.”


Kopriva Nearly Did Not Travel To Gstaad
The 24-year-old lost in the first round of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Amersfoort last week, and nearly did not travel to Gstaad. Kopriva was not sure whether he would go to this ATP 250 or another one in Umag. He ended up arriving in Switzerland as an alternate.

“I was hoping I would get in here and I did. I played so well in the first round of qualies,” Kopriva said. “In the final round of qualies, I was a set and a break down, 5-6 in the second. I [came back] somehow and from that moment I’ve just been trying to enjoy it.”

He Loves Ice Hockey & Football
Although Kopriva did not play sports outside of tennis competitively as a kid, he considers himself a “huge sports fan”.

“From a young age, I’ve watched ice hockey and football. I really like those because in our country, they’re very popular. This is how I spend my free time outside of tennis,” Kopriva said. “I have some fantasy football and fantasy hockey leagues with my friends. I really like those sports, I’m a big fan.

“My favourite football team in the Czech Republic is FC Baník Ostrava and my global club is FC Chelsea. Once I was in London to watch their game at Stamford Bridge. I’m also watching NHL hockey. In the Czech Republic, my favourite team is HC Vítkovice Ridera.”

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Gasquet Marches Into Umag SF

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2021

Fourth seed Richard Gasquet reached his first ATP Tour semi-final of the season on Friday at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag as he moved past Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 7-6(7).

The 35-year-old struck the ball well from the baseline throughout as he broke five times. He failed to serve the match out at 5-4 in the second set, but took his third match point in the tie-break to advance in one hour and 51 minutes.


“I started well,” Gasquet said. “I could not manage to break him at 4-2 in the second set and then I struggled a little bit on my serve. It was tough, but I fought a lot to finish the match in the second set. It was a great tie-break and important to win. I need to be physically ready to go further as I try and reach the final.”

Gasquet is the second-oldest semi-finalist in the tournament’s 31-year history, behind only 35-year-old Paolo Lorenzi, who reached the 2017 final (l. to Rublev). The Frenchman is now 2-0 in his ATP Head2Head Series against Dzumhur and will next face either second seed Dusan Lajovic or German qualifier Daniel Altmaier.

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Gaston Upsets Garin In Gstaad

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2021

Frenchman Hugo Gaston saved four match points on Friday at the Swiss Open Gstaad to upset fourth-seeded Chilean Cristian Garin 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(11) to reach his first ATP Tour semi-final.

The 20-year-old twice fought back from a break down in the final set before he saved four match points at 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, and 10/11 in a mammoth tie-break to advance in two hours and 20 minutes. He has now claimed 17 clay-court wins at all levels this season, having reached ATP Challenger Tour finals at the Concord Iasi Open and the Roma Garden Open I.


“I am very happy to be in my first [ATP Tour] semi-final,” Gaston said. “It was a great fight. It was a really long match. I always tried to play my game, and it is a good win for me. I hope I can continue like that.”

Gaston won 75 per cent (36/48) of his first-service points and used the drop shot to great effect throughout to set up a meeting with either seventh seed Laslo Djere or countryman Arthur Rinderknech.

The World No. 155, who was competing in his first tour-level quarter-final on Friday, becomes the youngest Gstaad semi-finalist since 2006, when a then 17-year-old Marin Cilic enjoyed a run to the last four.

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Isner Growing In Confidence, Reaches Los Cabos Semi-finals

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2021

Second seed John Isner fired into his first ATP Tour semi-final for 18 months at the Mifel Open on Thursday night. The former World No. 8 struck 21 aces, and lost only 11 service points, in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Alex Bolt of Australia in 67 minutes.

Isner won five straight games from 3-3 in the first set, winning 20 of 27 points. He later admitted that he felt more confident at the Cabo Sports Complex, than he did in his opening-round win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy on Wednesday.

“Yesterday’s match was a really struggle from start to finish and I could have easily lost that match,” said Isner, who is now 11-6 on the season. “After the win, I was very happy and because of that I played a bit better tonight. It was more straight forward, but that was because I felt more comfortable on court.

“I felt much better tonight on serve than I did last night. My first serve percentage was better and I didn’t hit any double faults. In the game I got broken last night [at 2-3 in the second set against Donskoy], I hit three doubles faults. It was just a better performance today.”


Isner will next challenge fellow American Brandon Nakashima, who will appear in his first tour-level semi-final. World No. 133 Nakashima saved three match points at 4-5, 0/40 in the third set of a hard-fought 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4) over fifth seed Jordan Thompson of Australia in two hours and 46 minutes.

It marks the first time that three Americans have reached an ATP Tour semi-final since the 2019 New York Open (Isner, Reilly Opelka and Sam Querrey). Third seed Taylor Fritz will play top-seeded Briton Cameron Norrie in the Los Cabos semi-finals on Friday.

Fritz/Monroe Through To Doubles Semi-finals
Fritz and Nicholas Monroe knocked out second seeds Jonathan Erlich and Santiago Gonzalez 6-4, 4-6, 10-6 for a place in the semi-finals. Fritz and Monroe came through a stressful Match Tie-break, which they initially led 5-0, only to lost eight of the next 10 points and trail 7-8. They will next play Hans Hach Verdugo and Isner, who knocked out wild cards Ernesto Escobedo and Luis Patino 6-4, 2-6, 10-7.

Elsewhere, American wild cards Mackenzie McDonald and Sam Querrey overcame fourth-seeded Australians Matthew Ebden and John-Patrick Smith 7-5, 6-3. They will now prepare to face Hunter Reese and Sem Verbeek, who defeated Treat Huey and Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6(3).

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Fritz Fights Through, Norrie Sails In Los Cabos

  • Posted: Jul 23, 2021

Third seed Taylor Fritz outlasted countryman Steve Johnson in a 6-4, 6-4 battle on Thursday to reach his third semi-final of the year at the Mifel Open in Los Cabos. 

Just over a month and a half ago at Roland Garros, Fritz left the court in a wheelchair after suffering a right meniscus injury, which required surgery. Now, after reaching the third round at Wimbledon (l. to Zverev) in his comeback event, the No. 37-ranked American is back into the last four of an ATP Tour event for the first time since April (Cagliari). 

Fritz saved all four break points that he faced across both sets against Johnson. He served 11 aces and won 80 per cent (27/34) of points behind his first serve to close out the victory in an hour and 32 minutes and improve to 3-2 in his ATP Head2Head against Johnson.

Fritz, who reached the final in Los Cabos in 2019, will next face top seed Cameron Norrie as the American searches for his second ATP Tour title. 


Norrie, who is making his first appearance as the top seed at an ATP Tour event this week, raced into the semi-finals after dropping just two sets against American qualifier Ernesto Escobedo to win 6-1, 6-1. The Brit, who currently sits at a career-high No. 30 in the FedEx Rankings, won 84 per cent (21/25) of his first-serve points, and broke serve five times en route to victory. 

He will look to take the lead in his ATP Head2Head against Fritz as the pair meet for the seventh time in Los Cabos. The American topped Norrie in their most recent clash at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March to level the count at 3 wins apiece. 

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