In the All-American final at the 2019 Eastbourne International, Taylor Fritz beat his compatriot Sam Querrey straight sets 6-3 6-4 to claim his first ATP title in his career.
Speaking after his press conference, Fritz said: “It’s, like, it’s unbelievable. The feeling still hasn’t fully set in. I have wanted to win a title for so long, ever since making the final in Memphis when I was so young. So it’s been — you know, I have been thinking about it for a long time. I’m so happy I finally got it.”
Fritz was in control throughout the whole match and Querrey could not find any rhythm to play the match on his own terms. Whenever there was a opportunity for Querrey to break back and even the match, Fritz looked focus and seemed to always come up with a first serve to extend his lead.
I asked Fritz in the press conference whether he agreed with this idea and he commented: “Yeah, like I just said, I feel like I can always come up with my best in the big moments, or if I’m not playing my best, I can just kind of find a way to tough it out and come through in those moments. It’s one of the biggest strengths that I have. Yeah, it’s just coming up with what I need when I need it.”
He also credited his coaching team composed of Paul Annacone and David Nainkin that helped him reach this point of his career.
“One thing we have all worked on as a team so much is working on my net game and coming into net more, because with the big groundstrokes, you get a lot of, you know, balls that you can finish the point at the net. So it’s been a long process trying to work on that.
“We are still working on it. We have worked a lot on my serve consistency, because one thing that’s been a problem about me winning a title or going deep is I’ll serve good, serve good, serve good, and then just have one day where I can’t put a serve in the court. We have worked a lot on that. My serve’s improved so much.”
“That’s one thing I stress to them as a player, telling the coach, is I want to improve, you know, where I’m not that good but I also want to strengthen my best shots so they become even more dominant, and so that’s something we have all worked on. And also tons of work in the gym, getting stronger, getting faster. Yeah, it’s all showing.”
Fritz will have little time to celebrate, as he will have to face former Wimbledon finalist, Tomas Berdych, in the first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, the second seed Karolina Pliskova defeated the defending Wimbledon champion, Angelique Kerber comfortably in straight sets 6-1 6-4 to claim her second Eastbourne International title.
Interview with Bethanie Mattek-Sands from Eastbourne 2019 Eric Han for Tennis Atlantic
I had the pleasure of talking to former world no.1 in doubles, five time Grand Slam doubles champion, and Olympic mixed doubles gold medalist, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, after her semifinals doubles victory with her partner Kirsten Flipkens. The video and the transcript of the interview is below.
Q: First tournament back since the Australian Open, and now you’re in final. Congratulations. How do you feel?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: It feels really good. I mean, for me I’ve been enjoying each match. Having a surgery, going through the rehab. I think you learn to appreciate the moment a little bit. And I’ve been having a blast with Flipkens, it was a last minute partnership. And she’s a good a friend off the court. I mean, she won last week on grass, so I felt I picked up a partner that was on good momentum. The things she comes up with that net is super impressive, so I really enjoyed playing with Kirsten out there.
Q: What did you think of the match? When you were down 5-8 in the super tiebreak, what did you say to Kirsten or what did Kirsten say to you to keep motivating each other?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: In all honesty, I’m going to be honest. On the 10 point tiebreakers, I lose track of score a lot. I’m relying on someone to tell me to I need to switch sides. It’s one thing to play the tiebreak to seven, but to play it to ten, I feel like it keeps going. So I’m like next point, alright next point, you’re serving, I’m serving, we’re returning, here’s the play.
So, I feel like, even though I wasn’t quite aware of the score, we had a good game plan. Flippers (Flipkens) is a positive person anyway, so I feel like we both have good energy out there and that’s kind of the key whether you’re up or down and its what win matches and we were able to close it out.
Q: You’ve played both singles and doubles in your career what would you say are the differences? What do you have to adjust when you have to play singles and doubles?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: You definitely adjust your targets. I just think they are two different game plans. I mean, you do have some players that play singles and very good doubles players. Then you have some singles players, that don’t play a lot of doubles. I think there’s a big aspect of communication, a big aspect of a different strategy, and I don’t even like to kind of compare them. I feel when I’m getting ready for a doubles match, it’s a different strategy when I’m getting ready for singles. It’s still a little bit different, I think it’s fun to have your partner out there, someone to talk to. Singles, you’re out there by yourself and it’s a different game. And for right now, I’m playing doubles and mixed doubles at Wimbledon, double here. So I get to have someone to talk to, have my partner. So I’m just really enjoying it,
Q: Ash Barty, who you’ve played against in singles and doubles a few times. She won her maiden Grand Slam in Paris last month. Were you surprised that her first singles Grand Slam was on clay, rather than on Wimbledon as people thought that’s her preferred surface?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: No, I don’t think so. I feel like she has actually won Rome doubles last year. And I think she won it again it this year. She’s an all court player, and I think right now if you have an all-court game, you can play on any surface. You can transition from clay, to hard, to grass. She mixes in that slice really well and comes to the net. And I feel like you can come to the net on all surfaces. And that’s going to be a good game plan. I don’t see her changing it up for grass. She’s an exciting player to watch, and I’ll be rooting for her.
Q: Speaking about Ash, she took time away from tennis to play cricket because she felt too much pressure, tension. Considering how long a tennis season is, nearly 11 months, do you think it is more beneficial for players to take mental health breaks?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: You know what, I gotta give her a lot of credit for doing that. Because she came out of juniors, and she was a highly touted junior. I played her actually, one of her first tournaments, in Hobart I think a long time ago. And she was a great junior player. And for her to say, its too much pressure, I’m not enjoying it. Because Ash is one of these players, she really enjoys going out there, she plays smooth, she plays her game, she talks about playing her brand of tennis. And I really give her a lot of credit for taking that break. And I don’t think its the worst thing. For me, my breaks have come from injuries. I’ve been out for some months at times and it wasn’t necessarily my choice. I think it’s not only good for the body, but also for the mind, tennis is a game and it is a long season, so I think it’s important to kind of to take your breaks when you can and enjoy it. I pick and choose the tournaments I want to play, but I give myself weeks off and days off. After a long swing of tournaments, I’ll take a couple of days to enjoy somewhere around the world. Otherwise, it’s just playing, trains, automobiles, courts, practice, and it’s just kind of this vicious cycle till November. So I think that’s helped me a lot, but again, I’ve taken some time off for my injuries and enjoyed my life off the court, so I think balance is important- really really important.
Q: Do you have any examples in your own career that you should’ve felt I could’ve taken a mental health break? Because it was too much for me, the media attention or whatever. Do you have any examples?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: For me, like I said, I took some time off around my injuries. And you know, it’s easy to say I was forced to take some time off. But I think I decided to rather than feel pressured to come back quick, I really enjoyed my time at home. I enjoyed my time with friends, and I think that’s the biggest shift of my career. If you would’ve talked to me when I was younger, I would’ve said I maybe burned out myself a little and didn’t enjoy tennis. And thinking back, it makes me a little sad, because tennis is a fun game, and even though there is pressure, and that’s why you have a team around you. And that’s why you have a normal life outside of tennis. And when I see that players that kind of have some good balance, they are generally the ones that play longer, they play the season, they can deal with losing early, and then those wins because week to week, you could be at a high, and next week you lose first round four days later! So I think it’s important to have a good balance and I feel like I’ve been able to do that, within my schedule.
Q: Yesterday, it was announced the Fed Cup would change its format to the Davis Cup. I spoke with Simona Halep yesterday about it in the press conference, she said she would possibly boycott it. Because she won’t be able to feel the atmosphere at home. What do you think?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: You know what? It’s a topic we’ve talked about a lot over the last few years. We needed to find a way that the Fed Cup could fit in our schedule as well. The final was played in November, then we had two other weeks. It was tough to add more weeks onto the player’s schedules. So we’re gonna continue the talks right now. I’m actually on the player’s council, so we’re gonna talk to the ITF, the Fed Cup, and kind of come up with a win-win scenario and see what we can do about it. I think it’s very important for everyone to represent their country. I will say that, we come to tournaments like Eastbourne, it says Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and it says USA. We’re all really proud of our countries, whether we’re playing Fed Cup or Olympics or just week to week in the tournaments. But I think, it’s important to get behind some of these countries and get them excited about tennis, and their players, and that’s really my goal with Fed Cup. It’s how we can create that excitement with all these different countries and getting behind these local girls!
Q: Since we are on the topic of playing for your own country. Next year is the Olympics. Do you have any goals or have any given any thought to it?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: Of course! Rio was my first Olympics, and I got a gold with Jack Sock in mixed doubles. So one of the big goals right now is to make the 2020 team. There’s a lot of time between now and then, a lot of tournaments. So it’s definitely in the horizon, but I would love to be in Tokyo. It was such a great experience in Rio, that I want to do it again.
Q: On the men’s side there is the Laver Cup. It has become a huge success, mainly due to the players showing a lot of passion for the event. Would you like to see the women’s being incorporated? Or perhaps creating a women’s only event similar to the Laver Cup. Would this be something you are interested in to take part?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: Definitely! I would definitely take part. I think it’s one of the fun things to watch the Laver Cup for is how excited the players are getting out of it They have a short scoring short format, and makes the games and points exciting. They really did a great job on social media, everyone’s posting about it. They did a great job on fan engagement and interaction, and I think that’s what fans want, they want to get close and get in the action with the players, and they want to see the emotions, and I think it was a great competition. The women’s will definitely have something, whether that’s with the men with Laver cup or our own thing. We’ll definitely do something like that in the future
Q: Who would your dreams mixed doubles and doubles partner be from Team World?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: I mean, Team World is stacked! I won with Jack (Sock), he’s unreal in doubles. When he gets those forehands, he punishes the ball, so I’m gonna throw Jack out there again. Women’s doubles from Team World… I’m going to have to go with…. so, Australia, I’m going to ask Ash Barty.
Q: Last question, Olympic singles gold medal, or a Grand Slam singles runners up?
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: Or a runners up?! You gotta go with the win. I think they’re both important. I mean, Olympics comes every four years so its a little bit more unique. But I want it all! Who doesn’t want it all? I want all the trophies!
Estoril Open Semifinals: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Pablo Cuevas book finals places Manuel Traquete, Tennis Atlantic
Just like the quarterfinals, long, hard-fought battles with a lot of twists and turns were the dominant theme on semifinal Saturday. Eventually, both favorites advanced to contest tomorrow’s final but not without overcoming great adversity first.
In the first semifinal David Goffin vs Stefanos Tsitsipas, Goffin started up great, playing his best tennis of the year to win the first set 6-3 with two breaks. He was moving Tsitsipas around the court with ease and firing winners at will. The second set, however, saw the match take a very unexpected turn, not because Tsitsipas won but because 7 of the 10 games were breaks of serve, including 7 of the first 8, something incredibly atypical in an ATP match. At the end of the second, 56 points had been won by the server in the match and 56 by the returner as well. It was Tsitsipas who emerged victorious of this peculiar situation, with Goffin repeatedly missing forehands on important, a trend that continued in the third set, where Goffin look better and closer to victory for the most part but kept making terrible errors in the most important points while Tsitsipas hang tough and sneaked a decisive late break. Losing in this fashion won’t do any good to Goffin’s continually waning confidence but at least the level is still there. Tsitsipas on the other hand showed why he’s now a top 10 player, winning despite getting dominated for large portions of the match, and will play for his second title of the year tomorrow.
The second semifinal was also a very tight and hard fought contest… at first at least. Alejandro Dadidovich Fokina won a very tight first set by coming through in the clutch but he got broken at 2-3 in the second set in what was the point of the tournament, featuring an impossible Pablo Cuevas no-look smash retrieval. In his frustration, Fokina sent the ball to the crowd, seemingly injured himself in the process and was never the same again. Cuevas would only lose 2 more games the entire match; Fokina won some good points, but looked to be struggling physically, cramping to the finish line. It was still a good week for him, coming all the way through qualifiers and showing he has what it takes to rise up the rankings quickly in the coming years.
In the final, Tsitsipas is a clear favorite, being the far superior player overall. But these 250 clay tournaments are where Cuevas makes his living and he will definitely be a very tough nut to crack. Whoever wins will become a new champion in Estoril.
Estoril Open QF day: Stefanos Tsitsipas beats local hero, battles to the finish on center court Manuel Traquete, Tennis Atlantic
Friday was a very long day at the Estoril Open, with every match being long and tightly contested until the end. The day began with fast rising Stefanos Tsitsipas taking on local hero João Domingues. While Tsitsipas winning came as a surprise to no one, the manner in which he did might have. Domingues put up an incredible fight and was unlikely not take at least a set. He was bold, aggressive and was hitting great shots. He broke early and has 30-0 when serving for the first set, but couldn’t close it. He had already been close to beating Kevin Anderson at this same venue 2 years ago, but just like then he couldn’t get the big win with his opponent’s superior experience and pedigree coming through in the end.
Tsitsipas’s opponent will be David Goffin, who won a very long and tense match against Jaziri. He started strong and took an early break only to give it away and lose the first set 4-6; he was up a double break on two occasions in the second set, including at 5-2, but once again just couldn’t capitalize and only barely eeked out a tiebreak to then barely sweat in the deciding set. Goffin’s level was far from good and incredibly far from the one that took him as high as #7 in the world less than 2 years ago. Winning in this manner might be what he needs to start regaining his lost confidence. Beating Tsitsipas in the semifinal would of course go even further towards it, but it’s a difficult bet for anyone to made judging by their respective levels so far this year.
The second semifinal will be played between the two night session winners: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Pablo Cuevas. Davidovich Fokina won a pulsating match against Gael Monfils, which had the crowd on their feet on many occasions such was the spectacle produced by Monfils’s athleticism and Dadivovich’s shotmaking talent. At several stages, Monfiils look like he had it, with Fokina looking tired and making a lot of double faults, but in the end the young Spaniard got his scalp with Monfils getting a somewhat disappointing result in his return to the ATP tour after being sidelined due to injuries for a few weeks ago. Monfils still leaves Estoril as a massive fan favorite, with the entire stadium pulling for him and collective disappointment when he was eliminated.
Fokina’s semifinal opponent will be Pablo Cuevas, a veteran of the clay circuit who just keeps going on against all odds. Tiafoe may have made the final last year, but he looked totally out of his depth for the majority of this one, with the second set win really not accurately portraying just how (not) close the match was. Sets 1 and 3 were pretty straightforward with Tiafoe barely able to win points for long stretches. His effort was admirable but ultimately Cuevas is simply the better player in this sort of conditions.
It was a historic day for Portuguese tennis with João Sousa becoming the first Portuguese player to ever win Portugal’s one and only ATP event, after Frederico Gil’s narrow miss back in 2010. This was Sousa’s 3rd ATP title In 10 finals, first in 2018.
It was pretty much a Davis Cup atmosphere in Center Court, with a capacity crowd rowdily supporting Sousa and spurring him on to the biggest achievement of his career thus far. Tiafoe had been on fire in the last couple of days but he wasn’t even close to replicate that level in the final, perhaps a bit intimidated by the extremely pro-Sousa atmosphere on the court.
Sousa broke in the second Tiafoe service game, and although he was broken back he was able to break and then serve out the set despite finding himself in a 0-40 hole. After losing the first set, Tiafoe clearly lose confidence for a bit, frustrated by how many errors he was committing and how many balls Sousa was forcing him to hit in a lot of rallies. Tiafoe was still able to rally back from a double break down in the second and force Sousa to serve it out, but the truth is he could never find the right balance between aggression and consistency and Sousa’s more consistent and metronomic game proved to be too strong for Tiafoe in his first ever clay final.
For Sousa, winning in Portugal has been the fulfillment of a long-held dream. Given how unlikely it is that he wins any bigger tournament, this title will most likely end up being the moment that will forever define Sousa’s career. He could hardly contain his emotion after winning, as shown by his winner’s speech and press conference, it was clear just how much this means to him. Tiafoe was magnanimous in defeat, congratulating Sousa for his victory on home soil and vowing to return to Estoril next year.
It was a day of upsets in Estoril as home crowd favorite João Sousa and emerging American Frances Tiafoe made their way into the final of the Estoril Open, knocking out Stefanos Tsitsipas and last year’s champion Pablo Carreno Busta.
The first semifinal was the one everyone in Estoril was eagerly awaiting and it certainly didn’t disappoint. After a titanic two hour tussle, João Sousa defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 3rd set tiebreak to book his 1st ever final at his home tournament, making it the second time a Portuguese player reaches that stage in Estoril after Frederico Gil in 2010 (lost to Montanes). Tsitsipas breadsticked the Portuguese in the second set, but he visibly ran out of gas in the third set after all the tennis he’s been playing lately and the home crowd pushed Sousa past the finish line.
The second semifinal saw a relatively empty court, with a lot of people having left after the emotional high of Sousa’s win. Tiafoe didn’t let that bother him at all though and produced an incredible performance to easily dispatch Carreno Busta. The American didn’t face a single break point and applied pressure in basically every return game, hitting one great winner after another to reach his first ever ATP final on clay. Carreno Busta’s famed consistency was just no match to the brilliance of Tiafoe on the day.
Going into the final, it’s hard to predict a winner. If he repeats today’s performance, Tiafoe will definitely be lifting the trophy, but it will be a completely different situation with a boisterous home crowd spurring on Sousa on his quest to become the first ever Portuguese winner in Portugal’s only ATP 250 event. It’s certainly a very intriguing matchup to wrap up this year’s edition of the tournament, especially considering the overall lack of strength of the field. It could very well turn out to be a historic day for Portuguese tennis if Sousa manages to pull yet another win.
The semifinals are set at the 2018 Estoril Open, with the big story of the week being the ever rising Stefanos Tsitsipas, who after reaching the final in Barcelona last week is already in the semifinals in Estoril, despite a very difficult match, hard fought to the last, against Carballes Baena. It took a third set tiebreak, where Tsitsipas won 7 points in a row after going 0-3 down, in order to book a place in the last four of the tournament. No matter what happens this weekend, this is already another incredible week for the young Greek, but he’ll definitely be aiming to get a first ATP title.
Tsitsipas’ semifinal foe will be João Sousa, who has kept the dream of winning his home tournament alive with a three set bagel over Kyle Edmund, who thus continues his post-AO slump. Sousa will be ultra-motivated to make it to the final Sunday, but just looking at talent and skill it’s clear Tsitsipas goes into this matchup as a clear favourite.
The second semifinal also has a clear favorite in last year’s champion (and 2016 finalist, 2013 and 2015 semifinalist) Pablo Carreno Busta, who easily beat Jarry in the 3rd set after struggling a lot in the 2nd. Tiafoe played well against Bolelli and is a rising young player in general, but the surface and history at this tournament make Carreno the safe pick for another final. Although neither Tsitsipas nor Carreno Busta are anywhere near locks to win, a repeat of last weekend’s Barcelona semifinal seems the most likely outcome right now this weekend in Estoril.
Thursday at the Estoril Open saw the quarterfinal lineup be completed, with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Pablo Carreno Busta, Roberto Carballes Baena and Nicolas Jarry booking their place in the last 8. The first match of the day pitted Cameron Norrie and Carballes Baena, with the Spaniard winning a titanic battle that lasted well over 3 hours in the 3rd set tiebreak. Norrie had plenty of chances to win the match, including serving for the match and 3 consecutive match points on Baena’s serve, but he couldn’t finish it off and the Spaniard that will face off against the ever rising Tsitsipas tomorrow.
Tsitsipas continued his fantastic clay run with another top 10 win, this time over Kevin Anderson. While Anderson is hardly top 10-level on this surface, it’s still another impressive win for the Greek youngster after making the final last week in Barcelona. Tsitsipas wasn’t broken at all in this match.
The night session featured two straight set matches, first a quite straightforward win for last year’s champion Carreno Busta over Kicker and then a real tussle between Jarry and Ojeda. Jarry won in 2 sets, but he had to come back from 1-5 down in the second set tiebreak to get it done in what was a very tight contest for the most part. Carreno Busta and Jarry will face each other in the quarterfinals, with the Spaniard emerging as a clear favorite.
Going into the quarterfinals on Friday, a lot of Portuguese fans are hopeful of finally having a Portuguese champion at the tournament after Frederico Gil barely missed out on the chance back in 2010. João Sousa is still alive (somehow given how close he was to losing to Pedro Sousa) and looking at the draw he seems to have as good a chance as anyone to win it all. His match against Kyle Edmund, semifinalist in Australia, will no doubt be the most eagerly awaited one at Estoril tomorrow for the home fans.
The remaining quarterfinal will be played between Tiafoe and Bolelli, with Tiafoe the favorite, in what will on paper be a very evenly matched contest.
Zverev Wins Emotional First Title in Germany, Cilic Finds Form in Istanbul Steen Kirby and Manuel Traquete, Tennis Atlantic
Alexander Zverev won his third career ATP title and his first in his home country of Germany, an emotional moment for the 20 year old who put his skills on display and thumped Guido Pella 6-4 6-3 in the final, dropping a set in just one of his four matches at the BMW Open this week. Zverev, one of the tournament favorites, beat Jeremy Chardy and Roberto Bautista Agut in a pair of close sets, and in the quarterfinals he needed three sets and a tiebreak to defeat countryman J.L. Struff. Zverev has had a great season thus far and could be challenging for the top 10 soon.
Pella, a 26 year old now 0-2 in ATP finals, is a clay specialist and came through qualifying defeating Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Fabio Fognini, Horacio Zeballos, and Hyeon Chung to reach the final. Zeballos and Chung were three setters, as Chung came up just short of making it an all ATP next-gen final after upsetting Gael Monfils earlier in the tournament. Zeballos couldn’t outmuscle his countryman on clay.
Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah teamed up for more success on clay beating Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin in the doubles final.
After struggling to start the year out, Marin Cilic moved to 6-1 on clay this year and helped protect his top 10 ranking with a 7-6 6-3 victory over Milos Raonic, who also found renewed form in Istanbul this week. Cilic now has 17 career titles and hasn’t dropped a set in his six wins on clay this season. In Istanbul he defeated Damir Dzumhur, Steve Darcis, and Diego Schwartzman in relatively easy fashion.
Raonic is 14-3 this year and reached his second final of the season after beating Aljaz Bedene, Bernard Tomic and Viktor Troicki, against Bedene he needed a third set tiebreak to prevail, but his level of tennis improved as the week went on, and he could serve as dark horse at Roland Garros.
Czech’s Roman Jebavy and Jiri Vesely won via a double bagel in the doubles final over Turkey’s Tuna Altuna and Italian Alessandro Motti, the most lopsided doubles final on tour this year.
Pablo Carreno Busta claimed his first ATP title on clay and his third overall ATP title, moving to 15-5 on clay this season with a routine 6-2 7-6 victory over surprise finalist Gilles Muller. PCB got ahead early and was never threatened, although Muller served better in the second set, Carreno Busta just nipping the tiebreak after beating three Spaniards this week to reach the final. Muller moves to 4-2 on clay this year and will look to keep the momentum up for his part.
Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus upset Tommy Robredo and David Marrero in straight sets to take the doubles final after a surprising week on clay.
Carreno Busta and Muller Setup Unexpected Final in Estoril Manuel Traquete, Tennis Atlantic
It’s been an exciting week at Portugal’s only ATP tournament in Estoril, as the final is now set between Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and serve and volleying veteran Gilles Muller. Carreno Busta, a finalist last year, hasn’t dropped a set through three matches and has been in good form on European clay this year. He seems very comfortable on the main court and has played technically sound, skillful clay court tennis, as he slipped past Tommy Robredo, and then dismantled Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer, having beaten three formerly highly ranked Spanish clay court veterans this week. Ferrer winning a pair of easy matches over Portugese wild card Frederico Ferreira Silva and American Ryan Harrison to reach the semfinals and find his footing after a woeful year. PCB will thus be the expected favorite against Muller.
Muller, who much prefers fast surfaces, had a 4-10 clay court record since 2013 prior to playing in Estoril, but has now won three straight on his worst surface, defeating Pedro Sousa, Taro Daniel in three sets, and Kevin Anderson to reach the final. Muller maneuvered past Anderson’s big serve, which had allowed him to upset Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals, and Daniel, who is usually at his best on clay, simply cracked under pressure in their quarterfinal match. Despite the fact he’s unlikely to defeat Carreno Busta, he should have plenty of confidence heading into the final, and if he serves well anything is possible, even on clay.
In doubles, fans have enjoyed the success of Spanish veterans Tommy Robredo and David Marrero, while Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus are out to surprise them in the final, having beaten the top seeds in the opening round of doubles action.