Playing at home, Alexander Zverev defended his Munich title with a 6-3 6-3 victory over countryman Philipp Kohlschreiber. Zverev beat two other Germans this week, Yannick Hanfmann in three sets, and Jan-Lennard Struff in straights, his semifinal opponent was Hyeon Chung, who he also put away in straights.
The veteran Kohlschreiber didn’t drop a set prior to the final, scoring wins against Ivo Karlovic, Mischa Zverev, Roberto Bautista Agut, and Max Marterer. The doubles title went to Rajeev Ram and Ivan Dodig, they defeated Mektic/Peya.
Japan’s Taro Daniel won his first ever ATP title, capturing the Istanbul trophy 7-6 6-4 over Malek Jaziri, a feisty veteran that was also seeking his first ever ATP title. Daniel grinded away wins this week against Matteo Berrettini, Aljaz Bedene, Rogerio Dutra Silva, and Jeremy Chardy, the latter two wins coming in three sets.
Jaziri had a special week defeating Marsel Ilhan, Marin Cilic, Jiri Vesely (in 3 sets), and Laslo Djere.
Inglot/Lindstedt won the doubles title over Mclachlan/Monroe.
Home Hero Alexander Zverev Leads Stacked ATP Munich Field Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Young guns Alexander Zverev and Hyeon Chung are among the top 4 seeds at the 2018 BMW Open 250 on clay in Munich. Here is your full preview, with predictions.
A semifinalist in Monte Carlo, home favorite Alexander Zverev will start against Marcos Baghdatis or Yannick Hanfmann, with another German likely lurking in the quarterfinals. Yannick Maden takes on Yuichi Sugita, while J.L. Struff takes on qualifier Daniel Masur. Both Struff and Maden are playing well, with Maden close to a breakthrough. I’ll go with Zverev over Struff in an all-German quarterfinal.
Hyeon Chung and Gael Monfils are both a joy to watch and could meet in the quarterfinals. Chung takes on Mikhail Kukushkin or Matthias Bachinger, while Monfils should get past Mirza Basic before running into Florian Mayer or Martin Klizan. Klizan qualified, and I have his fantastic form helping him get past Mayer, Monfils, and Chung to be a dark horse semifinalist.
Roberto Bautista Agut is slated to take on Marius Copil or Casper Ruud, RBA should defeat Ruud and Philipp Kohlschreiber in the quarters. I have Kohli beating Ivo Karlovic and Mischa Zverev/Andreas Haider-Maurer to reach the quarters.
Fabio Fognini takes on his countryman, Marco Cecchinato in the opening round. Cecchinato just won in Budapest, but Fognini should defeat him and Guido Pella/Marton Fucsovics to reach the quarters. I’ll back Diego Schwartzman to beat Dustin Brown and Max Marterer to get to the same stage, with Fognini reaching the semis.
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.
A battle between veterans, Seppi leads Zeballos 2-1 in the h2h, but Zeballos is coming off the semifinals in Barcelona and has shown good form on clay. If Zeballos is going to repair his ranking and move towards the top 50 he’s going to need to back up his play last week and win matches like this against a pedestrian Seppi.
(5)Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. (WC)Casper Ruud
Defending and three-time champion Kohlschreiber shouldn’t be overly troubled by the young gun Ruud but this is a great form check for Ruud, who qualified and reached the second round in Barcelona. Kohlschreiber recently made the final in Marrakech.
Gael Monfils has had a flat season this year and would love to kickstart his tennis in Munich. He’ll open with either Max Marterer or Hyeon Chung, who qualified in Barcelona and made the quarterfinals. Presuming Monfils gets past the upset alert match against Chung he should be favored against Budapest quarterfinalist Martin Klizan, who opens with Nicolas Kicker, and then will face either Dustin Brown or Mischa Zverev, who will have a serve and volley battle in round 1 on clay.
Kohlschreiber should beat Ruud and Zeballos/Seppi, Fabio Fognini lurks in the quarterfinals, presuming he can defeat Guido Pella (or Cedrik-Marcel Stebe) in round 2. Kohlschreiber is better than Fognini right now, despite Fognini’s ability to play peak tennis.
Roberto Bautista Agut looks set to face Thomaz Bellucci in the quarters, he’ll face either Thiago Monteiro or Marius Copil in round 2, after starting the season 2-2 on clay. Houston finalist Bellucci should ease past either Gerald Melzer or ATP main draw debutante Yannick Hanfmann, with RBA favored against Bellucci in the quarters.
Sascha Zverev should have enough quality to defeat either veteran Jeremy Chardy or Jozef Kovalik in round 2, Jan-Lennard Struff is a narrow favorite to make it an all-German quarterfinal, presuming he beats Daniel Masur and either Sergiy Stakhovsky or the ageless Tommy Haas, who should beat Stako on clay. Zverev is the clear favorite to make the semifinals.
Haas likely has at least one more ATP tournament run left in him and it could come at home in Germany. Haas already has two ATP wins this year and has fifteen career ATP titles, the last of his trophies coming in 2013. This is not the most difficult draw, and the likes of Zverev and Struff are certainly beatable, even though he’s a clear underdog.
Semis Kohlschreiber d. Monfils
Zverev d. Bautista Agut
Final Kohlschreiber d. Zverev
I’ll back Kohlschreiber and Zverev to reach the final in Germany, with the veteran Kohli deserving of a fourth Munich title.
Unseeded Nicolas Almagro captured his first ATP title since 2012 with a three set victory in nearly three hours over young Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. Almagro serviced twice for the opening set, at 5-4, and 6-5, but was broken both times by PCB, before eventually losing the first set tiebreak 8-6, in a show of mental weakness.
In set 2, Almagro was again 5-3 up, and served for the set, but was broken, only this time he won the tiebreak 7-5, converting his second set point chance of set 2. In the third he finally heaped the pressure on, forcing PCB to save multiple break points two games, and breaking in two more games, all while holding his own serve without incident to win the match. He converted his third match point, and with it, won the title.
This match was a tremendous mental and emotional turnaround for Almagro, in a grueling clay court battle. He demonstrated superior talent, but PCB was not an easy opponent to dispatch.
It was once again an exciting tournament for the Estoril Open, the stands were filled to capacity for the final, and most of the big matches, as Portugese fans turned out to show their support and dedication to Portugal’s only ATP event.
Tennis Atlantic would like to once again thank the tournament for allowing us to provide credentialed media coverage.
Philipp Kohlschreiber and Dominic Thiem went to war and brought out the heavy artillery on clay in Munich, as Kohlschreiber prevailed in narrow fashion by winning a third set tiebreak, after dropping the second set. Kohlschreiber once again showed his love and appreciation for the tournament in Munich, as he won here for the third time in his career.
Kohlschreiber served for the opening set twice, after five separate breaks in the set, but he failed to convert any of his five set point opportunities until the opening set tiebreak. In that tiebreak, neither player demonstrated much in the way of holding serve, but Kohlschreiber finally won it 9-7, on his eight set point chance.
In set two, things were surprisingly closer to the vest, as Thiem managed to hold his way through the set, saving a break point at the end of it, to maintain the lone break advantage he captured, and take it 6-4.
In the third, Thiem found himself broken easily to go 4-2 down, but Kohlschreiber again failed to serve the match out at 5-3, getting broken at love, and then he couldn’t convert either of his match point chances, with Thiem serving 4-5, to win the match.
The third set tiebreak saw six minibreaks between the players, and Kohlschreiber was able to win consecutive minibreaks from 5-4 up to walk away with the trophy.
Thiem showed his skill with a semifinal win over Alexander Zverev, but he just didn’t have that extra experience in the final, while Kohlschreiber beat accomplished clay courters Fabio Fognini, and Thiem, in consecutive fashion, showing he could serve as a bit of a French Open dark horse later on this month.
The doubles title was captured by Henri Kontinen and John Peers over Cabal/Farah.
Tennis Atlantic would like to once again thank the tournament for allowing us to provide credentialed media coverage.
Diego Schwartzman stunned Grigor Dimitrov to capture his maiden title, as the undersized Argentine clawed back from a set and a break down to defeat the cramping, and incredibly frustrated Bulgarian #1 in front of a packed house in Istanbul.
The victory was the biggest of Schwartzman’s career, as the 23 year old who clocks in at just 5-6, 140 lbs beat a host of clay courters, and won three consecutive three set matches this week. The first set featured a ton of breaks, but Dimitrov eventually edged it 7-6, in set 2 Dimitrov was 5-2, and 5-3 up, but couldn’t close out the match, while DSS failed at his own chance to serve out the set. Schwartzman went on to win the tiebreak, and then bagel a hobbled Dimitrov, who was given a game penalty at the end of the match due to his frustrated behavior, in the third set.
Schwartzman beat Facundo Bagnis, Bernard Tomic, Damir Dzumhur, and Federico Delbonis this week as well, winning three setters against Dzumhur, and Delbonis. He was playing in his first ever ATP final.
Dimitrov hasn’t won a singles final since 2014, as he dropped his third consecutive ATP final, and his second of the season. In both finals this year, he found himself a set up, but lost in the end. Grisha is still a great talent, but he appears mentally troubled at the moment, as he’s failed to live up to his potential, and still sits outside of the top 20.
Dimitrov beat Adrian Ungur, in three sets, Jiri Vesely, and the big server Ivo Karlovic this week.
Veterans Flavio Cipolla and Dudi Sela beat Andres Molteni, and Schwartzman in narrow fashion to capture the doubles title, as DSS was likely too fatigued after playing the singles final.
The two semifinals at this year’s BMW Open will be highly anticipated. The top half will feature young German Alexander Zverev, vs. young Austrian Dominic Thiem in a titanic clay court battle, while the bottom half will feature Germany’s own Philipp Kohlschreiber, against the flamboyant Italian veteran Fabio Fognini.
Zverev made his fourth career ATP semifinal (second of the season) with a three set win over David Goffin, the tournament’s top seed. Zverev served far better than Goffin, and generated numerous break point chances, which was more than enough to help him prevail. Goffin never quite looked comfortable this week in Munich, while Zverev clearly feels at home, and he’s bidding for his first career ATP final.
Thiem has been a cut above Zverev this season, he’ll be looking for his sixth career ATP title and third of the season at just age 22. Ivan Dodig tested him by forcing a third set, but Thiem dictated play in the two sets that he won, as he was superior on clay.
The 19 year old Zverev is facing the 22 year old Thiem for the first time, and they will likely have many battles to come, as they represent the next generation of ATP talent that is coming into their own on tour.
Philipp Kohlschreiber is 3-1 in his career against Fabio Fognini, and should be the favorite to repeat as a finalist in Munich. He has four previous finals, and this would be his fifth if he wins. He’s also still in the running for a third career Munich title. Juan Martin Del Potro was simply too rusty, and didn’t appear comfortable on court, as he lost in straight sets to the German hero.
Fognini was given a tough match by lucky loser Jozef Kovalik, and he barely survived, pulling out the match 7-5 in the third. Fognini has moved to 8-6 on the season, and is in his first semifinal of the year, after making the semis or better three previous times last season. He’d love to make his return to the return to the top 20.
Juan Martin Del Potro is one of the stars at this year’s BMW Open, and he’s now into the quarterfinals, after a strong pair of wins. On Monday he stated he’s a long way from being 100% with his wrist, but he’s feeling better each month, and he’s going to stick with a two-handed backhand.
Snow was also one of the big topics of the tournament thus far, as multiple matches this week saw white flakes landing onto the red clay. This didn’t do much to help Canadian Vasek Pospisil, as he was foiled by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in his opening match, after winning the first set. Pospisil was seen frequently practicing in the cold weather though, and must feel at home.
Credit: ATP World Tour.com
Gael Monfils withdrew from the BMW Open for the third time, as he’s suffering from a groin injury, and in his place, lucky loser Jozef Kovalik has made it into the quarterfinals with a win over qualifier Igor Sijsling.
The remaining seeds are holding true to form, top seed David Goffin may not be 100% but he battled back to defeat Victor Estrella and reach the quarters, Alexander Zverev dominated Lukas Rosol, after getting his revenge from Barcelona against Malek Jaziri. Dominic Thiem beat Santiago Giraldo, and next faces Ivan Dodig, after Dodig scored wins over Thomaz Bellucci and Ernests Gulbis without dropping a set.
Kovalik will face Fabio Fognini, in a match Fognini is heavily favored to win. The Italian had no trouble against young wild card Max Marterer, and then handled Mikhail Kukushkin in a similarly easy fashion to reach the quarters.
Del Potro will face veteran home favorite Philipp Kohlschreiber in the match of the day tomorrow. After wins over Dustin Brown, and Struff, he’s showing some great form. Kohlschreiber beat countryman Florian Mayer, one of his good friends, and has stated in press that he’s still hungry for success, even as he gets older. He also expressed disappointment for the ATP stripping points away from Davis Cup participation. Kohli has never beaten Del Potro, but on home clay he still may be the favorite.
In doubles, the semifinals are Oliver Marach/Fabrice Martin against Henri Kontinen/John Peers, and Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah against Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya. The top seeds Marcelo Melo/Jean-Julien Rojer were defeated by Marach/Martin earlier in the week.
2016 ATP Munich Preview and Predictions Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Tennis Atlantic is excited to once again have on-site coverage from the BMW Open in Munich, as this week you’ll be treated to reports from our onsite reporter Marc Imperatori. Here is a preview of the ATP 250 clay court stop.
BMW Open by FWU AG
ATP World Tour 250
April 25-May 1, 2016
Prize Money: €463,520
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: David Goffin (13)
2: Gael Monfils (14)
3: Dominic Thiem (15)
4: Philipp Kohlschreiber (27)
Three players at the top of their game right now, and a local German standout compromise the top seeds in Munich.
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe is playing his first ATP match in three years, and he did it the hard way, earning his spot in the main draw by winning a pair of qualifying matches. The 25 year old was absent from the tour for all of 2014, and most of 2015, due to injury rehab. He’s now back on tour and is playing just his third event of the season, the first two were a futures stop, and challenger qualifying.
Stebe was once an extremely talented young gun who had seven tour level wins in 2012, and four in 2011, along with a fantastic record on the challenger tour (four career challenger titles). With the chance at a solid ATP career still in sight, he’ll face a struggling Victor Estrella, who has incurred a sharp decline in his game this year, probably due to age. Estrella is still the favorite, but Stebe could get a huge confidence boosting win at a home tournament in Germany.
(8)Alexander Zverev vs. Malek Jaziri
Jaziri just stunned Zverev, who will be playing at home as one of the fan favorites, and he’s 10-2 over his last three tournaments, a stunning turnaround after a rough early season. He’s won a pair of challenger titles in recent weeks, and reached the quarterfinals on clay in Barcelona. Zverev is 3-2 in his last five clay court matches, and would love to get a big win in this one. Given the home advantage, I see him pulling it off.
Dustin Brown vs. (WC)Juan Martin Del Potro
Like Stebe, Juan Martin Del Potro is also on the comeback trail from injury. He’s 5-3 on the season, and is playing his first clay court tournament since the 2013 Rome Masters. Del Potro is a big hitter, but he was solid on clay at an earlier stage in his career and he’ll have a good chance to dispatch the exciting Dustin Brown, who hasn’t played a tournament in weeks. This is a great form test for Del Potro who has won at least one match in all three of his tournaments this season.
David Goffin is 4-1 on clay this season and with an 18-7 overall record, he’s had a great season thus far, as the #1 Belgian player. He should easily defeat either Stebe or Estrella, to setup a quarterfinal meeting with home player Alexander Zverev or Jaziri. The winner of that round 1 match will face Lukas Rosol or Denis Istomin, as Rosol looks to snap a four match losing streak, and Istomin is on a three match losing streak himself. Zverev should give Goffin a good match, but I have the top seed reaching the semis.
Dominic Thiem, 10-2 on clay this season, with a pair of ATP titles, is in the midst of a career year, and he’ll be a heavy favorite to reach the semifinals from his section. Thiem should open with Sarasota challenger champion Mischa Zverev, presuming Zverev dispatches Santiago Giraldo in round 1. After that, he could face Thomaz Bellucci, or perhaps Ernests Gulbis. A struggling Bellucci opens with Mikhail Youzhny, while Gulbis faces doubles specialist Ivan Dodig in this unimpressive section. Gulbis has lost four straight, and thus I have Dodig pulling an upset, while Bellucci should snap a long losing streak and beat Youzhny for the fourth straight time, then dispatch Dodig. This is a tough section to predict, but Thiem will take it.
Gael Monfils reached the final in Monte Carlo and he should blitz past either qualifier Igor Sijsling, or Bucharest quarterfinalist Marco Cecchinato. Fabio Fognini found form to reach the Barcelona quarterfinals and he should continue his momentum by dispatching young gun Max Marterer in the opening round. Marterer recently won a futures title on clay. Fognini’s round 2 opponent will be either Mikhail Kukushkin or Evgeny Donskoy, neither player is great on clay, but Kukushkin has lost three straight, and thus I have Donskoy advancing, before losing to Fognini.
Monfils has won his previous two matches against Fognini, and he should be in better form, thus I have him reaching the semis.
Barcelona semifinalist Philipp Kohlschreiber is a two-time Munich champion, and he should continue his strong start to the clay season by reaching the semifinals in Munich as well. He’ll open his quest in Munich with a qualifier, either Matthias Bachinger, or Florian Mayer, both of whom are veterans, with Bachinger in better form. Kohlschreiber should then defeat Del Potro, or perhaps J.L. Struff in the quarterfinals. Struff qualified in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona, he’ll open with the seed Vasek Pospisil, who is poor on clay, and then will face the Del Potro/Brown winner. Kohlschreiber should be good enough to defeat Del Potro.
With his great form, watch out for the veteran Jaziri to defeat Zverev once more, and reach another ATP quarterfinal on clay. Jaziri is a great shotmaker, but his work ethic and fitness has always been what has held him back. We’ll see what he can do in Munich.
Semis Thiem d. Goffin
Monfils d. Kohlschreiber
Goffin beat Thiem this year in Australia, and they have split clay meetings 1-1, both of which were ATP finals. Both guys are in solid form and have had great seasons, but Thiem appears ready to rise, and thus I have him advancing. If Monfils stays healthy and focused, he should be a cut above Kohlschreiber as well. Monfils has won four straight meetings against Kohlschreiber.
Final Thiem d. Monfils
Thiem beat Monfils last year in Umag on clay, either player could snatch the title, but a young and hungry Thiem appears set to win Munich.
Andy Murray had to finish the match on Monday, but he finally won a long desired ATP title on clay in Munich 7-6 5-7 7-6 over Philipp Kohlschreiber, the German #1 who always tends to play some of his best tennis in Bavaria. Early on the first set, rain delayed the match on Sunday, and then they battled for over two hours on Monday to finish the match. Murray served well, always a key for him to win a match, and Kohlschreiber, though he battled hard, was poor in both tiebreaks, which was when it really mattered. Murray could have closed the match out in straight sets (he was up 7-6 4-3 and had break points), but Kohlschreiber was able to turn the tide, and very nearly pull off the upset. Overall the Scotsman would improve to 25-5 on the season and he captured his first ATP title this year (#32 overall).
Murray beat Mischa Zverev in his first match, then beat Lukas Rosol in 3 sets, and Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets back to back (the quarterfinals were hampered by rain and players had to play two matches in one day). Kohlschreiber beat Jiri Vesely, and Alex Zverev before beating David Goffin in 3 sets, and first time ATP semifinalist Gerald Melzer (Jurgen’s brother) also in 3 sets. Kohlschreiber dealt with slow starts in his quarter and semifinal matches, but prevailed regardless.
Alex Peya and Bruno Soares, the top seeds beat the Brotherly tandem of Alex and Mischa Zverev for the doubles title.
David Goffin Interview Highlight of 2015 ATP Munich Wednesday Marc Imperatori for Tennis Atlantic
Goffin won and we snagged an interview with him (photo credit: Marc Imperatori)
Yesterday was my last day at the BMW Open. Four R2 Singles matches, all R1 Doubles matches as well as Pablo Andujar vs. Joao Souza, the only remaining R1 match, were scheduled. The real magic happened on court 1 with three consecutive exciting matches. I had an interview with the winner of the last one, David Goffin. You can read it further down.
You´ve got to love the atmosphere there. A small court that has stands behind and in front of the players´ benches. In close matches there are people standing all around the court to get a view on the match. Then there´s all the noise from the music played on centre court during changeovers or between matches. It all adds to a great “outside court” atmosphere.
The opening match was a battle between two clay-court specialists, Joao Souza (Brazil) and Pablo Andujar (Spain). The latter reached the final in Barcelona by beating Ferrer and Fognini. Souza on the other hand should be well known for his Davis Cup epics: Two days after winning against Carlos Berlocq in 5 hours, he came back from 2 sets down, saved several match points just to lose 13-15 in the fifth set against Leonardo Mayer in more than 7 hours (in the Brazil-Argentina WG Round 1 tie). In this match both players showed their abilities on the red dirt. Andujar was extremly consistent from the baseline by hitting with great depth and angles as well as constantly serving on the line. It was very hard for Souza to deal with that, so he had to go for big shots especially with his forehand. That was spectacular to watch at times and worked out pretty well. Yet, Andujar was just too solid. He only needed to save a break point in his second service game, while Souza was break point down in five of his ten service games, getting broken once in each set. Therefore Andujar won 6-4, 6-4. The Spaniard retired against Gerald Melzer in his match on Thursday.
In the following match Janko Tipsarevic from Serbia faced the Dominican tennis hero Victor Estrella Burgos. Tipsarevic did not participate in any tournament in 2014 and played his third tournament after his comeback in Munich, having had a 3-2 record going into this match. Estrella Burgos, who beat Dominic Thiem & Marin Cilic last week in Barcelona as well as Viktor Troicki in R1 here, was really on fire early in the match. He was hitting rocket forehands, top spin volley and even backhand winners and therefore got a quick 5-2 lead on serve. During the changeover the umpire let the courts remade which made the Dominican livid. He lost nine consecutive points but eventually served it out to win the first set 6-4. In the second set the two players dominated on serve. At 4-4 Estrella Burgos created a break opportunity, saved by a big serve of Tipsarevic. In the following tie-break the latter was playing extremly well whereas Estrella Burgos hit some unforced errors. Therefore Tipsarevic won the breaker 7-1.
In opposite to the previous set, this one started with three breaks, two of them by the Serbian. Both held their serves and especially Tipsarevic played much more aggressive than early on in the match, going for a backhand down the line very often. Thus he had the opportunity to serve for the match at 5-4. He started and ended the game with a double fault. It must be said that the other three points were high-quality. In the next game he had two break points to serve for the match once again. Estrella Burgos was able to save both of them with offensive tennis and win the game to go up 6-5. In the next game the Serbian had to hold his serve to stay in the match. In this stage VEB was hitting rocket forehands just like in the beginning of the match. Being match point down the first time Tipsarevic once again hit a great serve, the second time he hit an error. Hence Estrella Burgos won 6-4, 6-7(1), 7-5.
Estrella-Tipsarevic was a quality contest (photo credit: Marc Imperatori)
In the quarter-final he will meet Roberto Bautista-Agut. The Spaniard easily dispatched Radek Stepanek by winning 6-0, 6-3.
In the last match on this court David Goffin fought past Simone Bolelli 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-1. All in all this match was a mixture of fantastic rallies paired with unforced errors. Anyway, it was quite spectacular. Neither player was troubled on serve in the first set. Then Bolelli won some of the mentioned great rallies to be 4-1 up on serve in the tie-break. Then the unforced errors by Bolelli appeared in addition to very consistent baseline play by Goffin. The latter won five straight points and eventually the set.
In the second set Bolelli seemed to have a letdown and got broken but immediately broke back. Goffin then had another break point opportunity in the third game but once again, both players won their service games to enforce another tie-break. Just like in the first set Bolelli was redlining his game in the beginning and got a 4-1 lead. This time he only lost the next two points and won the second breaker 7-4. In the last set David Goffin showed why he´s on the verge of breaking into the Top 20 again. His great movement and counter-punching lead to breaking Bolelli´s serve in the fourth game. In the following game the Italian had a break point to even it out but Goffin saved it by a well-timed net attack after a long rally. From then on Goffin was too good for Bolelli who kind of lost confidence. The Belgian broke again and served it out to love.
Q: Congratulations. As a spectator it was really great to watch your match, many nice rallies. What do you think about your performance?
DG: It was hard because the conditions are different than two days ago. It´s cooler today. The courts are slow and it was tough to move, so I did the maximum to win and I´m really happy because in January I lost against Simone in Sidney. He´s a great player and I think it´s a great performance to win against him today.
Q: You mentioned the match in Sidney. Today he caused a lot of trouble, too. What makes it so tough to play against him?
DG: Yeah, it´s because he has so much power. When he hits the ball, it´s tough for me to control it. His forehand is really strong. His serve, too. I had to serve really well and I was really solid. I waited for a good moment to break him in the last set. So it was a really solid match mentally.
Q: You had injury problems this year. At the Davis Cup you couldn´t play the first rubber. How do you feel now?
DG: Now I´m feeling better. I had some problems with my rip, just after Marseille. Then it always takes a few weeks to get better, but now I have no more pain.
Q: Good to hear! Last year you had a great run. You won two tournaments and many challenger titles, too. You were full of confidence. Today, you sometimes seemed more passive. Is it because you have less confidence now?
DG: No, I think I´m playing really good in practice but today it was tough conditions, tough to move. Simone is really aggressive so it´s tough to be aggressive for me. So maybe that´s why I was more passive today but I´m gonna try to be more aggressive next round.
Q: It changed a lot for you when you won all the titles in the last 6-8 months. Do you feel more pressure now, being almost a Top 20 player?
DG: Yeah, I´m #21 this week. I´m seeded now in tournaments like ATP 250s. Of course it´s pressure but it´s a good pressure. I have to play my game, even if I´m #21 or #40 or #50 I don´t care. I have to play my best tennis. If I´m playing well I think the result will come. I just have to focus on the way I play.
Q: What are your goals for 2015? Do you have specific goal or are you looking from tournament to tournament?
DG: No, I´m gonna try to win another tournament, maybe …
Q: This week?
DG: Why not? It should be good. Like I said, I´m really happy to be back on clay. I can win points at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, so I´m gonna try to break the Top 20 for the first time. And then at the end of the season, I´ll see if I´m Top 20 or not.
Q: The last question: What do you think about your next opponent, Philipp Kohlschreiber?
DG: I played him twice, I think, and I won twice but it´s a different tournament. He´s playing at home. He´s always has a good level when he´s playing in Germany. I think he won the tournament twice. He loves the tournament, it will be a tough match for me.
As you can see in the quarterfinals David Goffin will face German No.1 Philipp Kohlschreiber. He beat Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-4. In the post-match presser he was talking about the youngster´s game. Kohlschreiber was fully aware of Zverev´s potential. However, he also admitted that it was easy for him to dominate points due to Zverev´s court position far behind the baseline.
I also asked Kohlschreiber about David Goffin (and Simone Bolelli). He mentioned their encounter in Kitzbühl where the Belgian prevailed in straight sets. Goffin´s constant and well-placed shots as well as his great movement and returning ability made Kohlschreiber not really sound like he is keen on having to play against him.
Scores from Wednesday and Thursday
Wednesday (ATP Doubles) Peya/Soares d. Stakhovsky/Troicki 5-7 7-5 10-4
Paes/Stepanek d. Struff/Thiem 6-1 6-7 10-5
Murray/Rojer d. Klaasen/Rosol 7-5 6-2
Junaid/Shamasdin d. Fleming/Marray 6-3 2-6 16-14
Mayer/Moser d. Becker/Meffert 6-3 6-2
Begemann/Knowle d. Cermak/Vesely 7-6 6-4
Alex Zverev/Mischa Zverev d. Brown/Petzschner 6-4 6-4
Jamie Murray/Peers d. Estrella/Souza 6-3 6-2
Thursday Murray d. Mischa Zverev 6-2 6-2
Rosol d. Stakhovsky 7-5 6-2
Thiem d. Fognini 6-3 6-0
Gerald Melzer d. Andujar 4-1 ret.
Peya/Soares d. Paes/Stepanek 6-2 6-1
Andy Murray/Rojer d. Junaid/Shamasdin 6-2 6-2
Begemann/Knowle d. Mayer/Moser 6-0 6-4
Zverev/Zverev d. Jamie Murray/Peers 3-6 6-3 10-8