Semifinalists @AndreaPetkovic, @StefTsitsipas, @AlexdeMinaur Sneak In Before the Rain @CitiOpen
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlsntic
A rare dry couple of hours at the Citi Open in Washington produced the tournament’s first three semifinalists on Friday afternoon, and only two got there by winning a match. Two and a half soggy hours later, we’re still waiting for another winner.
Stefano Tsitipas showed that he is gunning for some hardware by taking down the #3 seed, David Goffin, 6-3, 6-4. Tsitsipas bent but did not break. That is, he faced multiple unsuccessful break chances from Goffin and gave away nothing.
Sascha Zverev came out slow against Kei Nishikori after a big win over his brother, Mischa, on Stadium Court last night. After blowing the first set 6-3, Zverev found ample break chances on Nishikori in the second set to grab the momentum and a 6-1 second set. The third set was delayed by rain for over 2:30 at the time of this post.
Belinda Bencic was the highest remaining seed on the women’s side and she staged a furious comeback against 2013 Finalist Andrea Petkovic after dropping the first set, but Petkovic held on for a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(8) after failing to convert break chances to win the match outright.
Petkovic discussed the tiebreak during the rain delay with the Tennis Channel.
“I think I had 8 out of 10 winners on the slice wide and slice T serve, and I just couldn’t make it in the tiebreak, but I did get my second serves into her body more,” she said.
She also commented on the composure needed to get through tiebreaks. “I think what is difficult in such situations is about still staying aggressive and still staying courageous. Then if you lose the tiebreak you will feel a little better, a little less bad about yourself if you stayed courageous. But then again, you don’t want to miss, right?”
“It’s an art to find the balance between these two.”
We also learned during the rain delay that Alex de Minaur became the second men’s semifinalist when Andy Murray made it official: he’s done at least until the U.S. Open. That limp was for real. The Muzzer’s departure from D.C. denies us a compelling matchup between de Minaur and maybe even Sascha Zverev. But we all know Andy knows himself better than anyone, and Cincinnati is a short wait for his fans.