Kecmanovic, After 20 Zverev Double Faults, Notches First Top 10 Win
#NextGenATP Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic kept World No. 6 Alexander Zverev winless at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, advancing 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4 to earn his first Top 10 win on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old Serbian continued his breakout season on the ATP Tour, benefitting from 20 double faults – a personal career-high – from the German, who fell to 0-5 at the season’s seventh ATP Masters 1000 event.
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Kecmanovic reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and made his maiden ATP Tour final in June at the grass-court Turkish Airlines Open Antalya (l. to Sonego). The Serbian, No. 58 in the ATP Rankings, is expected to crack the Top 50 on Monday when the new standings are released.
“It means a lot because I also broke into the Top 50 today. So it’s a really special moment for me. I’m really happy that I was able to play the way I did. I worked a lot, I practised a lot. To see everything come together and happen, it’s really special,” Kecmanovic said. “I definitely just tried to go for everything. As I said, I had nothing to lose, really. He was the favourite, and it obviously helped me that he didn’t serve as well as he does usually.
“I tried to stay calm. I tried to just use my chances and thankfully it paid off.”
Kecmanovic bolstered his chances of qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan as well. The teenager currently holds the seventh and final qualification spot in the ATP Race To Milan. Eight players will compete at the 21-and-under event, to be held 5-9 November in Milan, with the eighth position reserved for an Italian wild card.
He will next meet the winner between #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe and 11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who made his first Grand Slam semi-final last month at Wimbledon.
In other action, Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who beat former World No. 1 Andy Murray on Monday, remained perfect in Cincy, dismissing Argentina’s Federico Delbonis in straight sets 7-5, 7-6(1). The 33-year-old Gasquet will next meet another Argentine in Diego Schwartzman, who saved all five break points and beat Moldova’s Radu Albot 6-4, 6-2.
Did You Know?
Four qualifiers, including Kecmanovic, are in the Round of 16 at an ATP Masters 1000 event for only the third time in series history (since 1990). The other three qualifiers are Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka and Russian Andrey Rublev. The other two times were at 2005 Hamburg and 2001 Monte-Carlo.