Super Sascha Punches His Ticket to Another @CitiOpen Final
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
The sun broke and held that break through the day session at the Citi Open. With no further rain in the forecast, it was on to unfinished business, starting with Svetlana Kuznetsova, who resumed her quarterfinal already up a set to Yulia Putintseva at 6-2, 2-2. Kuznetsova ran off 4 games and ran off to cool down to warm up for Andrea Petkovic later in the afternoon.
Denis Kudla’s quarterfinal with Andrey Rublev wasn’t really unfinished business since they resumed at 0-0 this afternoon. The hometown favorite, Denis Kudla, struggled badly in the first set but was only broken once in the second. It was all that was needed for Rublev, who won 6-1, 6-4.
Rublev faces Alex de Minaur tonight at 7 for the right to deny Sascha Zverev back to back Citi Open titles.
Donna Vekic was up 3-0 when the rain came last night, and she was ready to go out of the gate, and only lost her grip momentarily before hitting the finish line. After failing to capitalize on two match points chances earlier in the second set, she won the tiebreaker in a speed round to seize the match, 6-1, 7-6(0).
Saisai Zheng was the last player at Citi Open to reach the semis, and she did it just moments before Sascha Zverev and Stefano Tsitsipas took the court on Stadium next door. Her match also never started yesterday and she was playing on fire, as she has done throughout the Citi Open. Allie Kiick gave a last gasp near the end of the second set, but the final was 6-3, 6-1. Zheng plays the nightcap semifinal at 9 against Vekic.
The day’s most anticipated match was easily Zverev and Tsitsipas
Sascha Zverev looked every bit the part of the champion in dressing down opponent Stefano Tsitsipas in the first semifinal. Tsitsipas mounted a rally in the second set but left himself no margin for error. After he was broken in the ninth game while serving at 4-all, the young Greek smacked himself repeatedly in the face. With a win tomorrow, Zverev looks to join the ranks of Chang, Agassi, Del Potro and Rybarikova as back to back champions of this event. After being asked about the rankings, Zverev replied, “I want to win the U.S. Open and then see how many points I have after that.”
Tsitsipas was in decent spirits after the match. He said that playing Sascha was a learning experience. “I will learn from this,”: he said. “Hopefully, I can do better next time against him. He’s a really tough player to beat so if I manage to do better next time, I will see my progression and how much the level has increased.”