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Fritz/Lehecka Upset Top Seeds Koolhof/Skupski In Queen's Club SFs

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2023

Fritz/Lehecka Upset Top Seeds Koolhof/Skupski In Queen’s Club SFs

Germans Otte/Struff knock off No. 1 seeds Arevalo/Rojer in Halle QFs

Taylor Fritz and Jiri Lehecka earned the most emphatic win of their run at the Cinch Championships on Friday to reach the final at The Queen’s Club in London.

After scoring their first two victories via Match Tie-breaks, the unseeded American/Czech pairing knocked off top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski 6-3, 7-6(4) in the semi-finals. Fritz and Lehecka combined to hit 11 aces and saved three of the four break points against them in the win, while breaking twice on five chances.

Both Fritz and Lehecka are seeking their first tour-level doubles title, with only Fritz having previously played in a final. The American twice finished runner-up, in Basel with Reilly Opelka (2019) and in Los Cabos with Thanasi Kokkinakis (2018).

The second doubles semi-final at the ATP 500 event will be contested on Saturday, when second seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek face Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

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Germans Otte/Struff Upset Top Seeds In Halle
Home favourites Oscar Otte and Jan-Lennard Struff advanced to the semi-finals at the Terra Wortmann Open on Friday with a 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 upset of top seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer. 

Each team broke serve twice in the tightly contested match, before the Germans narrowly claimed the Match Tie-break. They will next meet Marcelo Melo and John Peers in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Italians Andrea Vavassori and Simone Bolelli are already through to the final after their 6-3, 6-7(0), 10-7 win against Andreas Mies and Marcelo Demoliner on Friday.

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Alcaraz Extends Best Grass Run With Queen's Club QF Win

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2023

Alcaraz Extends Best Grass Run With Queen’s Club QF Win

Spaniard to meet Korda in Saturday’s semis

Playing in a grass-court quarter-final for the first time on Friday, Carlos Alcaraz used a fast start and a strong finish to defeat Grigor Dimitrov at the Cinch Championships.

The Spaniard’s 6-4, 6-4 victory extends his edge to 3-0 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head and moves him to 5-4 lifetime on grass courts. With his first Top 30 win on the surface, he advances to the semi-finals for the eighth time in his nine events this season — his lone early exit coming in the Rome third round.

“The work that I put in, the matches that I played [at] a great level helped me a lot coming into this really tough match,” Alcaraz said of his development on the grass. “Grigor is a top player in every surface, but I would say even more here on grass, he feels the ball really well.

“I just played really well from the beginning until the last ball.”

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Alcaraz improved to 8-0 in tour-level quarter-finals this season by winning six of the match’s final seven games after falling behind 0-3 in the second set at The Queen’s Club in London. After Dimitrov stopped a run of four straight games to break for 4-4, Alcaraz took advantage of a loose service game from the Bulgarian to storm through the finish line.

After breaking in the opening game of the match, Alcaraz did not create another break chance until he broke for 2-3 in the second. Dimitrov settled in and attacked the top seed with his all-court game, but the Spaniard landed some crucial drop shots as he began to turn the tide.

The match was poised for more drama at 4-4, but Alcaraz won eight of the last nine points to set up a semi-final showdown against Sebastian Korda. The American was a 6-4, 7-6(1), winner against home favourite Cameron Norrie earlier on Friday.

With Alcaraz and Korda joining Holger Rune and Alex de Minaur in the semi-finals, all four of the remaining players are under 25 years of age.

“It’s great to play against the young players like me,” the 20-year-old Alcaraz said when told of that statistic. “We are setting the generation and obviously we are going to play a lot of matches at such great events, great tournaments. It’ going to be really fun to play.

“Sebi, he’s a friend,” he continued, looking ahead to Saturday’s matchup. “He’s coming with great tennis. Of course I would say it’s going to be a really good match. I hope the crowd enjoys that match because it’s something special.”

The 32-year-old Dimitrov, the lone former champion in the London quarter-finals, was denied his first Top 10 win on grass since he beat Andy Murray at Wimbledon in 2014.

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Bautista Agut Upsets Medvedev, Advances To Halle SFs

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2023

Bautista Agut Upsets Medvedev, Advances To Halle SFs

The Spaniard was a semi-finalist in Halle in 2018

Roberto Bautista Agut delivered a clean-hitting performance Friday to upset top seed Daniil Medvedev at the Terra Wortmann Open.

The Spaniard downed Medvedev 7-5, 7-6(3) to earn his fifth Lexus ATP Head2Head win against the World No. 3, who defeated Bautista Agut last year in Halle en route to a finalist finish.

“I think to beat Daniil on this court, you have to play really good,” Bautista Agut said in his on-court interview. “I did not feel good some months this year, but I kept working hard. I know tennis is sometimes very difficult, but today it showed up that I’ve been working hard. It showed up that a lot of things, I have been working on and I’m very happy because I played very good tennis.”

Bautista Agut, 35, held the advantage in extended rallies and countered Medvedev’s deep return position by showcasing drop shots and closing points at net. A semi-finalist in Halle five years ago, Bautista Agut stated that his flat groundstrokes are part of the reason why he plays well on grass. 

“I think I can move well on grass, I think I’m fast,” Bautista Agut said. “My shots are flat and the most important thing is that I enjoy playing on this surface.”

The World No. 23 will meet Andrey Rublev or ‘s-Hertogenbosch champion Tallon Griekspoor in the semi-finals.

Medvedev, who holds a 41-8 season record, will next be in action at Wimbledon. He leads the ATP Tour with the most wins in 2023.

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Rune Downs Musetti, Reaches Queen's Club SFs

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2023

Rune Downs Musetti, Reaches Queen’s Club SFs

The 20-year-old will next meet De Minaur

Holger Rune overcame a stern test from Lorenzo Musetti on Friday to reach his sixth semi-final of the season at the Cinch Championships.

In their first tour-level meeting, the second seed defeated Musetti 6-4, 7-5 after one hour, 54 minutes. Rune won 54 per cent of points behind his second serve, compared to Musetti’s 29 per cent to advance to his first career grass-court semi-final.

“I enjoy it [on grass]. I think I’m starting to play better and better,” Rune said in his post-match interview. “[It’s] getting more challenging in every match and I think my mindset has been incredibly good these three matches. I’ve been able to come from a break behind and stay in the moment.

“Grass is also tough for the body. First few matches, every part of your body has to get used to it, the movement, the upper body, everything. So I was struggling a bit but I’m happy that I could finish and win a match.”

Rune, who received treatment on his right wrist during the opening set, won five consecutive games after trailing 1-4. In the second set, the Dane saved two set points on serve at 4-5.

I had, since I woke up this morning, some pain in the wrist,” Rune said. “I think grass is so much faster than clay, so if you become a bit late on the ball, or on the serve [return], it’s a lot of pressure on your wrist. That was the case. I took some treatment. It was painful a couple of games after but I feel okay now.”

The 20-year-old Rune, who is yet to drop a set this week, will face Alex de Minaur on Saturday after the Australian defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the last four. De Minaur, seeded seventh, is aiming for his second grass-court title (Eastbourne, 2021).

Should Rune triumph at the Queen’s Club, he would rise to a career-high World No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

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Khachanov Withdraws From Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jun 23, 2023

Khachanov Withdraws From Wimbledon

27-year-old suffered a stress fracture at Roland Garros

Karen Khachanov has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to a stress fracture he suffered at Roland Garros.

“Hello everyone, this is not an easy statement for me to write, but I have to inform you of my withdrawal from the upcoming Championships at Wimbledon,” Khachanov wrote on Instagram on Friday.

“Due to an unfortunate injury I picked up at the French Open (stress fracture and a partial fracture in sacrum S1 bone), I will not be able to participate at Wimbledon for the second year in a row. The decision to withdraw was not an easy one and I was hoping till the end during these few weeks that I would be able to recover however my medical team ensured me that in my case it wasn’t possible.”

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Khachanov has made four appearances at Wimbledon, with his best result a run to the quarter-finals in 2021.

Khachanov had enjoyed a string of deep runs at recent majors, reaching the Roland Garros quarter-finals and Australian Open semi-finals this year and the US Open semi-finals in 2022.

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