Federer, Dimitrov, Schwartzman, and Cuevas reach Istanbul Open 2015 semifinals
Ahmet Fevzi Guclu for Tennis Atlantic
It was sunny day at the Istanbul Open today. Due to May day demonstrations against the government, police bottlenecked public transportation, which resulted in difficulties for fans trying to reach the venue, Still, that didn’t prevent thousands of them thronging to see Federer, and Dimitrov among the big names in action.
The day started with impressive youngster Diego Schwartzman facing 4th seed Santiago Giraldo. The Colombian stormed past the first set in 20 min, and stunned both Schwartzman and the crowd. The second set, again saw a break by Giraldo in the very first game, as he capitalized to make it 2-0. Suddenly, Schwartzman raised his level, and began to play much more aggressive with the perfect movement. The Argentine won six games in a row, and made it to final set. For a third consecutive time, Giraldo broke in the first game of the set, but got broken thanks to his silly mistake, and a good fight by Schwartzman. Giraldo was serving abysmally at this point, and the first hold came for 2-2. Schwartzman saved three break points with wonderful shotmaking and point constructing as we are used to seeing from him this week. Giraldo threw his racket at this point, and started whine about crowd, resulting in him getting booed for around 2 minutes. The set was basically decided at this point, and Giraldo lost five straight games to drop the match. Giraldo was the favorite but he missed his chances, and DSS reached his first ever ATP semifinal.
Schwartzman d. Giraldo 0-6 6-2 6-2
The packed stadium was ready for Roger Federer meeting No: 62 Daniel Gimeno-Traver for the second QF. Federer after winning his service game, broke the Spaniard only to get broken back in following game. Then, an even set started, both players cruised in their service games with the help of their opponent putting up a multitude of unforced errors. Federer couldn’t get the break in the 4-3* game where he missed three break point chances. The set was decided by TB, which was entertaining. Federer finished it winning with beautiful points.
DGT was the better player in the second, with deep shots often on his forehand side, and wonderfully executed drop shots, troubling Federer unexpectedly. Federer made many mistakes when returning, also his BH didn’t work as he wished. The Spaniard despite losing the break advantage when serving for *5-3, still won the set in the TB. The Third set started tense, Federer had to save four break points in the opener with a lot of “Komm Jetz” from the world No:2, which was crucially important for both side. After Fed’s surviving, the match balanced out yet again into a classical clay court battle. Eventually, Federer broke DGT in the 4-3* game with great crowd support on his back, and served out without any incident. Swiss was the second semifinalist of the day, after the long struggling match lasted 2 hours and 27 minutes.
Federer d. Gimeno-Traver 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 6-3
During the first match of the night session, there were around 300 Bulgarian fans with their flag in the stands, to support their countryman Grigor Dimitrov for his match against Croatian veteran Ivan Dodig. The world No:11 was far superior as expected, Dodig played some good points here and there, but his level was never catching Dimitrov’s high quality. The Bulgarian played very aggressive, and made Dodig run a lot, benefiting from the No:107’s poor movement. Despite the unnecessary amount of UE’s from Dimitrov, his performance was enough to routine Dodig without much trouble. Dimitrov seemed very motivated to reach the SF at the Istanbul Open, in front of the fans from his homeland.
Dimitrov d. Dodig 6-4 6-3
In the final match of the night session, which was another late nighter, Thomaz Bellucci couldn’t continue his fairytale run against Pablo Cuevas, and let his opponent revenge the loss in Miami.The Brazilian played a high-risk match as his forehand was again very powerful, same as his shotmaking capability, but the Uruguayan grinded through the many games, while getting almost every ball back, especially after he was down 3-1 in the first. Cuevas played solid, and broke again the Brazilian in the last game, to win the set 7-5. In the second, Bellucci broke himself twice, and lost the match, despite the fact that he was the one who offered enjoyable tennis most of the time. Cuevas didn’t make many unforced errors, started to serve wonderful after the middle of the second set, and never gave a chance to lefty again. Cuevas was the last semi-finalist of the day and received standing ovation from around 100 people left in the stadium.
Cuevas d. Bellucci 7-5 6-3
Tomorrow, the semi finals day, the first match starts at 3:30 pm local time, where Federer will be the obvious favourite against Schwartzman, who he has beaten this season. Then Dimitrov faces Cuevas, a match match which is expected to be a close battle with Dimitrov the favorite.
In Mens doubles, Lindstedt/Melzer beat Daniell/Grialdo 6-2 6-1, to reach the final, with Guccione/Sa and Albot/Lajovic playing the other doubles semi on Saturday.