Molcan Continues Career-Best Season In Lyon
Alex Molcan continued his perfect week at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon Thursday, dispatching Argentine Federico Coria 6-3, 6-2 to reach his second tour-level semi-final of the season.
The Slovakian has yet to drop a set in the south of France and he overpowered Coria with his brutal ball-striking to advance after 90 minutes. With his run, he has climbed to No. 41 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
Molcan, who defeated former World No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and fifth seed Karen Khachanov in his opening two matches, enjoyed a run to the final on clay in Marrakech in April. The 24-year-old earned just seven tour-level wins in 2021, but has already recorded 13 victories in 2022.
The lefty will next face Alex de Minaur after Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki was forced to retire from their match due to a back problem at the start of the second set.
The Australian was leading 6-4 after 39 minutes when Watanuki retired due to injury. It is the second time de Minaur has advanced to the last four this year, having reached the semi-finals in Barcelona in April.
“It is a tough one. It was very tough, a lot of wind. Tough conditions,” de Minaur said. “I was happy I kept my cool and did what I needed to do and [I am] wishing a very speedy recovery to Yosuke, who I know very well from juniors.
“It will be another tough one [against Molcan]. He has been having his best year and I am ready for a battle tomorrow.”
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In other action, French qualifier Manuel Guinard moved past American lucky loser Michael Mmoh 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in three hours and 19 minutes to reach his first tour-level quarter-final. The match resumed on Thursday at 5-5 in the third set and it was Ginard who came out firing to move to 1-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.
The 26-year-old will return to court later to face #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune.