2-4-8! Who Do We Appreciate? Three Seeded Players In Delray Beach Open Quarterfinal Play Today
Steve Fogleman in Delray Beach
January 11–-John Isner, Hubert Hurkacz and Frances Tiafoe are clearly the ones to beat in this tournament at the moment. Those seeded Delray Beach Open seeds have a lot of contenders at their tails. Sebastian Korda, who beat John Isner at Roland Garros last year, is set for the challenge against the second seed nig man Isner.
Roberto Quiroz, the 28-year-old Ecuadorean with deep pro tennis roots and in his first ever ATP quarterfinal, will square off against the 4 seed, Hubert Hurkacz. Hurkacz hopes to be the 7th 4 seed to win this tournament. It’s been tours since his last semifinal berth, but former Texas Christian University standout Cameron Norrie will do his best to move on against 8 seed and 2018 champion Frances Tiafoe.
Finally, you’ve got a match this afternoon that will result in an automatic underdog advancing to the semifinals between Christian Harrison and Gianluca Mager. This is Harrison’s first quarterfinal and Mager beat his brother Ryan to open the main draw of the tournament. In fact, Mager is looking to defeat his third American in a row after a win over Sam Querrey in the second round.
I’ve said it many times and it seems to hold true. At the lower level tournaments, seeding means little.The experience and confidence the players earn on the courts prior to the main draw are often enormously valuable.
As far as coronavirus and social distancing protocols here, there seems to be a ramped-up enforcement. With fewer fans in attendance on Friday, there were more groups together in the upper areas of the stadium and plenty of chin-strapping. I looked at the ushers on the concourse below and was worried that these mature-aged volunteers wouldn’t be up to the task. Meanwhile, Delray Beach Police Officers were all over the facility and didn’t seem interested in managing the new rules. By the weekend, that had changed. Frequent announcements were made that all fans were required to be in their assigned seats and that ushers would be coming around to check those seat assignments. Seats were sold in blocks of 2 or 4 with alternating rows and the protocols appeared to be enforced more stringently. Though it’s completely understandable, my heart sunk a little during announcements that fans were prohibited from asking for selfies or autographs from the players. And that photo of Frances Tiafoe above? He says he requested it. The only reason his mask was down was because he’d just finished answering a few questions for me twelve feet away. Throughout the weekend, the announcer made a point to inform the fans that they were about to be part of a national telecast on Tennis Channel, as if to remind them that they didn’t want to give their own town a bad look on TV. Maybe that was the trick.
Wins Today at Volvo Car Open Set Up Quarterfinal Match Between Friends Kasatkina and Goerges Tony Callaio, Tennis Atlantic
Daria Kasatkina, 2018 Volvo Open (Photo: Tony Callaio)
CHARLESTON, S.C—Thursday started with the round of 16 ready to go including the 2017 defending Volvo Car Open champion and No. 3 seed, Daria Kasatkina.
Kasatkina took on 13th seed, Irina-Camilia Begu taking her out fairly easily 6-2, 6-1 in an afternoon match.
Daria Kasatkina, 2018 Volvo Open (Photo: Tony Callaio)
Next up for Kasatkina is WTA tour friend, 5th seed Julie Goerges. Goerges took out one of the tour’s rising stars in Naomi Osaka from Japan.
Regarding Kasatkina’s upcoming match with her friend Goerges, Kasatkina said, “Tough to say because she’s really aggressive, she’s serving well. She has a very aggressive forehand, very solid backhand. To beat her for sure, I have to show something special and to play not like go on court just to play. I think it’s going to be a good match.”
Julia Goerges, 2018 Volvo Open (Photo: Tony Callaio)
Goerges started out slow in the first set against Osaka eventually getting to a tiebreak. Goerges outscored Osaka 7 to 4 in the tiebreak, taking the first set, 7-6.
The second set was a bit easier time for Goerges before closing it out 6-3.
Julia Goerges, 2018 Volvo Open (Photo: Tony Callaio)
“I saw that her body language changed in the second set,” Goerges said. “She was, I think a little bit frustrated that she couldn’t take the opportunities she had in the first set and she really let me back in.”
Giorgi, Ozaki, Mladenovic, Davis Complete Women’s Quarterfinals Field at Citi Open Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
WASHINGTON (July 21)—Risa Ozaki did the most impressing on a light day for women’s singles at the Citi Open in Washington, as she won in three sets. In other action, Camila Giorgi won in a walkover as Tamira Paszek withdrew to injury, and Kristina Mladenovic and Lauren Davis both booked their trip to the quarters in straights.
Ozaki had the perseverance to be down a break in the third after dropping the second set. She’d won the first, 6-1, and looked to be on cruise control until Naomi Broady willed the second set, 7-5.
I interviewed her after the win, but before doubles, which she also won with Shuko Aoyama, 6-4, 5-7, 10-5. She credited her serve today and she’ll need it for…
Tomorrow: Yulia Putintseva.
Lauren Davis scored an upset against Monica Puig 6-4, 6-2.
“It was a great win for me. Monica’s an amazing player and she’s been doing really well this year,” the gracious American said of her opponent in an interview with Tennis Atlantic. She also said she’d like to finish the season in the top 50 or 60. Next up is Camila Giorgi in the women’s nightcap.
Kiki Mladenovic loves to come to Washington for good reason. She’s a 2014 quarter finalist in singles and the defending doubles champ. She breezed past Sabine Lisicki in 67 minutes and looked like she could go another three sets when I spoke with her 3 & 3 win over the former Wimbledon finalist. Yanina Wickmayer awaits.
Top seed Sam Stosur plays wild card Jesse Pegula for the final semi-final spot.
Windy Wednesday as Winners Book Quarterfinals at Tennis Hall of Fame Championships Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Put the Phone Down Low for Ivo Selfies
NEWPORT (July 13, 2016) If I don’t like Mondays at a tournament, then I love Wednesdays. Today’s Tennis Hall of Fame Championships featured six second round matches and a single first round match under cloudless skies and very breezy conditions.
Victor Estrella Burgos became the last man in the second round with a routine 7-6(3), 6-3 win over American Dennis Novikov. Meanwhile, on Stadium Court, Frank Dancevic played his fourth match in four days and came out swinging against the big-serving Ivo Karlovic. Ivo had just two aces in the first set, but settled down to win a tiebreak in the second, netting ten aces in that frame. He added another eight in the final stanza, and Dancevic gave up his only break in the match at 4-4 to set up Karlovic to serve it out. He did, and advances as the favorite to beat Marco Chiudinelli in the quarterfinals.
Asked about his slow start, Karlovic told Tennis Atlantic, “It was windy and it was early. I didn’t really wake up soon. 11:00, I normally have breakfast, and today I already had a match, so I didn’t really wake up”. On winning a title in Newport after two appearances as a finalist, he said, “Yeah, I’m ready. If not, then when? So, I’m ready. This year I got a bye, so hopefully this year four matches will be enough”.
Meanwhile, Newport regular John Patrick Smith took on Marco Chiudenelli on Court 1. No one seems to know these courts like Smith does and he over-performs here. But today, after posting an impressive 6-1 first set, it was Chiudenelli’s time to pull a rabbit out of a hat, and he did, winning 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Following the Chiudinelli win on Court 1, a battle I had anticipated between Stefan Kozlov and Donald young never materialized. Young busted out of the gate en route to a 6-0, 6-4 victory and he will play top seed Steve Johnson in the quarters. The quiet-in-press Young was as close to elated as I’ve ever seen him as he declared, “I don’t know if I’ve won two in a row this year, so this might be the first time or the second, so this is a confidence builder at a tournament I’ve struggled at in the past.”
Johnson’s victory was also unexpectedly lopsided, as he posted a 20-minute breadstick on Sugita and cruised into the quarters, 6-1, 6-4.
Brian Baker had a wonderful ride in Newport, winning his first match since 2013 in Cinncinati. Marcos Baghdatis stood in his way of the quarterfinals, and both played very well from the start of the match. Baghdatis simply played better, winning 91% of his first service points to 81% for Baker in the first set. Baghdatis advanced, 6-4, 6-3, and will meet either Dudi Sela or defending champ Rajeev Ram tomorrow.
It’s Quarterfinals Day @FamilyCircleCup! Kristi Tredway for Tennis Atlantic
Family Circle Cup Stadium
Today’s singles matchups at the Family Circle Cup offer surprises and potential classics.
First up is an American battle, Madison Keys, the #7 seed, versus Lauren Davis. Davis benefited from the retirement of Mona Barthel, the #15 seed, while leading 6-4 3-0, in the third round. Madison Keys has had a relatively easy route to the quarterfinals. She defeated Andreea Mitu in the third round 6-2 6-0. In press, Davis proclaimed that she knew Keys’ game “like the back of my hand.” Keys, unsurprisingly, didn’t take this very well and it has probably fueled her motivation to beat Davis.
The second matchup today will feature Sara Errani, the #4 seed, versus the surprise qualifier Lucie Hradecka. Hradecka defeated Caroline Garcia, the #8 seed, in a marathon in the third round, 5-7 7-5 6-4. Errani also survived a bit of a marathon yesterday. She defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2 5-7 6-2.
The third quarterfinal match features the defending champion and #3 seed Andrea Petkovic, now the highest seed remaining, against the qualifier Danka Kovinic. Kovinic received a gift from her longtime mentor Jelena Jankovic, the #6 seed, who withdrew before their match with a right foot injury. Petkovic avenged her loss to Madison Brengle in the first round of the 2015 Australian Open, their only prior meeting, beating her 6-4 6-4.
The final quarterfinal match will feature Angelique Kerber, the #5 seed, against Irina-Camelia Begu, the #13 seed. Kerber defeated Lara Arruabarrena, the player who knocked Sam Stosur out in a 2-hour marathon, 6-3 6-0. Begu received a walkover from Ekaterina Makarova, the #2 seed, who withdrew after her second round win due to a gastrointestinal illness.
Nearly everyone expected to win did so today, except Novak Djokovic. It didn’t break his heart or at least he didn’t show it.
Novak Djokovic will apparently play with two rackets at the US Open in an effort to maintain his world #1 ranking. At least that’s what he told Tennis Panorama News’ Dave Gertler at the Western & Southern Open in Greater Cincinnati today after being defeated by Tommy Robredo. For Djokovic, he’s the first #1 seed since 2008 not to reach the quarters. The dodgy Cincinnati ‘Capodimonte Cup’ continues to elude him.
Cincinnati Capodimonte Cup
Australian Open Champion Stan Wawrinka made quarterfinals at the Cincinnati Masters today with a 3 set win over Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-0, 6-1. His first serve has been off as of late and Stan only hit 27% of his first serves today. I asked him about that and he acknowledged the issue. Wawrinka will meet Julien Benneteau in the quarters tomorrow. The head to head between the pair favors the Frenchman 2-1.
Julien Benneateau had never beaten Jerzy Janowicz in ATP play until today, where he posted a 7-5, 6-1 win over the big Pole. Benneteau’s serve was on and he was patient with every point. He’ll need that serve when he faces Wawrinka for a chance to make the semis in Cincinnati, a feat he’s never reached before.
“I am not the favorite, but I’ll have my chances and just be ready to take it”, he told me, referring to tomorrow’s match with Wawrinka.
Fabio Fognini is the first Italian quarterfinalist at the Western & Southern Open since 1995. He doesn’t care who he plays in the quarterfinals tomorrow. He’s just thrilled to be here so deep in the tournament and peaking around the US Open.
Simona Halep is getting used to the attention of being a world #2 and she dosen’t care if she plays on Center Court or not. This is her 2nd post-match press conference after acceding to her new post. She also answered an interesting question about being #1 whether or not you win a slam.
Finally, Evina Svitolina beat Carla Suarez Navarro to advance to her first Premier-level quarterfinals today, getting revenge for Suarez Navarro’s win over her earlier this year in Linz. Svitolina’s next opponent is Ana Ivanovic. She spoke me with me after the match and discussed the improvements in her mental game. The 19-year-old is the first teen quarterfinalist here since Pavs did it in 2010.
ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2014
CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
ATP –  Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) vs. Julien Benneteau (France)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA –  Serena Williams (USA) vs  Jelena Jankovic (Serbia)
Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP –  Tommy Robredo (Spain) vs.  David Ferrer (Spain)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP –  Andy Murray (Great Britain) vs.  Roger Federer (Switzerland)
Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA –  Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) vs. Elina Svitolina (Ukraine)
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
ATP – Vasek Pospisil (Canada) / Jack Sock (USA) vs.  Alexander Peya (Austria) / Bruno Soares (Brazil)
Not before 1:00 pm
ATP –  Milos Raonic (Canada) vs.  Fabio Fognini (Italy)
Not before 3:00 pm
WTA –  Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) vs.  Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark)
Not before 7:00 pm
WTA –  Maria Sharapova (Russia) vs.  Simona Halep (Romania)
WTA –  Alla Kudryavtseva (Russia)/Anastasia Rodionova (Australia) vs. Anabel Medina Garrigues (Spain)/Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan)
COURT 3 start 12:00 noon
WTA – Kimiko Date-Krumm (Japan) / Andrea Hlavackova (Czech Republic) vs. Garbine Muguruza (Spain) / Carla Suárez Navarro (Spain)
Not before 1:30 pm
ATP – After Suitable Rest –  Julien Benneteau (France) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (France) vs.  Daniel Nestor (Canada) / Nenad Zimonjic (Serbia)
WTA –  Raquel Kops-Jones (USA) / Abigail Spears (USA) vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) / Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic)
ATP – Robert Lindstedt (Sweden) / Marcin Matkowski (Poland) vs. [WC] Steve Johnson (USA) / Sam Querrey (USA)
ATP –  Bob Bryan (USA) / Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Jean-Julien Rojer (Netherlands) / Horia Tecau (Romania)
Results – Thursday, August 14, 2014
Men’s Singles – Round of 16
 Tommy Robredo (Spain) d  Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 76(6) 75
 Roger Federer (Switzerland) d Gael Monfils (France) 64 46 63
 Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) d  Marin Cilic (Croatia) 36 60 61
 Milos Raonic (Canada) d [WC] Steve Johnson (USA) 67(7) 63 76(4)
 David Ferrer (Spain) d Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) 75 60
 Andy Murray (Great Britain) d  John Isner (USA) 67(3) 64 76(2)
 Fabio Fognini (Italy) d Yen-Hsun Lu (Chinese Taipei) 36 63 63
Julien Benneteau (France) d Jerzy Janowicz (Poland) 75 61
Men’s Doubles – Second Round
 Bob Bryan (USA) / Mike Bryan (USA) d Eric Butorac (USA) / Raven Klaasen (South Africa) 61 64
 Alexander Peya (Austria) / Bruno Soares (Brazil) d Marin Cilic (Croatia) / Santiago Gonzalez (Mexico) 76(3) 76(6)
[WC] Steve Johnson (USA) / Sam Querrey (USA) d  David Marrero (Spain) / Fernando Verdasco (Spain) 76(4) 64
Women’s Singles – Round of 16
 Serena Williams (USA) d  Flavia Pennetta (Italy) 62 62
 Simona Halep (Romania) d  Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) 64 75
 Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) d Sabine Lisicki (Germany) 61 61
 Maria Sharapova (RUS) d Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) 64 76(2)
 Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) d Sloane Stephens (USA) 76(4) 64
 Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) d Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) 62 26 63
 Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) d  Angelique Kerber (Germany) 75 62
Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) d  Carla Suárez Navarro (Spain) 46 64 64
Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
Timea Babos (Hungary) / Kristina Mladenkovic (France) d  Sara Errani (Italy) / Roberta Vinci (Italy) 26 61 10-8
Women’s Doubles – Second Round
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) / Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) d  Su-Wei Hsieh (Chinese Taipei) / Shuai Peng (China) 36 75 10-5
Garbine Muguruza (Spain) / Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) d  Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) / Elena Vesnina (Russia) 76(1) 16 12-10
 Racquel Kops-Jones (USA) / Abigail Spears (USA) d [WC] Melanie Oudin (USA) / Taylor Townsend (USA) 63 61
 Alla Kudryavtseva (Russia) / Anastasia Rodionova (Russia) d Marina Erakovic (New Zealand) / Arantxa Parra Santonja (Spain) 63 62
Anabel Medina Garrigues (Spain) / Yaroslave Shvedova (Kazakhstan) d Cara Black (Zimbabwe) / Sania Mirza (India) 63 63
Kurumi Nara (Photo: Chris Levy @Tennis_Shots for TennisEastCoast.com)
WTA Quarterfinals a Speedy Affair @CitiOpen Friday Stephan Fogleman, Tennis East Coast
It was almost over before it began. In a little more than two and a half hours, three WTA quarterfinals were decided in straight sets and another was actually over before it began via retirement. The speedy results quickly determined tomorrow’s semifinal match-ups.
Nara continued to surprise many American tennis fans again today with a 6-3, 6-1 trouncing of Kristina Mladenovic, who played poorly and seemed a little surpised herself. With 5 double faults and a 48% first serve percentage, there was almost nothing positive for her to take out of the match. Nara doesn’t seem to exude the least bit of nerves this week.
Marina Erakovic continued her great week and Bojana Jovanovski ceded the match to Erakovic with double faults and five breaks of serve.
That sets up Erakovic-Nara and Nara is the clear favorite.
Sveta Kuznetsova won in a walkover against Vania King, who suffered a right hip injury. After the match, King explained that she felt some pressure on the hip last night and knew this morning that it would be unwise to proceed. Since King is not playing in Montreal next week, she should be healthy to play in Cincinnati the following week.
Ekaterina Makarova beat 2012 Citi Open Finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (3), 6-3 in a tale of two sets. Pavs did almost everything right in the first set except win the tiebreak. After that, as often is the case, the winds come right out of the sails in the second set. They did, and Makarova, the top remaining seed, walked away with the win.
Tomorrow WTA semifinals are docketed with Kurumi Nara taking on Marina Erakovic at 1 p.m. on the Grandstand and Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ekaterina Makarova graced with a Stadium Court hit at 9:15 p.m.
Week 1 is (almost) in the books at Wimbledon, and here is a look at the men’s round of 16 matchups, featuring some traditional top players and a few dark horses who have already exceeded expectations through their first three matches.
Novak Djokovic vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Djokovic has looked strong this week with wins over Andrey Golubev in straights, Radek Stepanek in 4 and Gilles Simon in straights. Though he took a nasty fall against Simon, he should be fine against Tsonga, who has been pushed to five sets twice this week, in round 1 against Jurgen Melzer and round 2 against Sam Querrey (a match he won 14-12 in the fifth that stretched over a couple of days). In round 3, he had an easier time against Jimmy Wang winning in straights, but Djokovic just dismantled him at the French in Paris and has a 2-0 overall grass h2h.
Thus, I don’t see this being that much of a match.
Djokovic in 3 or 4 should be the result.
Jeremy Chardy vs. Marin Cilic
Chardy has reached the second week of a slam for the third time in his career, but he will be a big underdog against Cilic, who is playing well again. To some extent, Cilic is now playing like he did earlier in the season, seeming like a man on a mission.
Chardy has wins over Dan Cox in 4, Marinko Matosevic in an exciting 5 sets, and Sergiy Stakhovsky in 4.
Cilic has wins over Paul-Henri Mathieu and Andreas Haider-Maurer in 4, before that set 3 win over Tomas Berdych in an upset that finished in the dark.
Chardy could trouble Cilic for a bit, but with his new-found mental fortitude, the Croat should advance in 3 or 4 sets.
Andy Murray vs. Kevin Anderson
Murray has 17 straight wins at the Wimbledon venue (2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2013 Wimbledon champion), and he looks to extend his winning streak to 18 against the big South African Kevin Anderson.
Anderson is three out of three in reaching the round of 16 in grand slams this year, even while having inconsistent results at smaller tournaments. The h2h is 1-1 with both meetings taking place on hard court and Murray’s wins this week were over David Goffin, Blaz Rola, and Roberto Bautista Agut, all without dropping a set.
Anderson beat Aljaz Bedene in straights, Edouard Roger-Vasselin in 4 and the combustible Fabio Fognini in 5.
Murray should win this in 3 or 4 close sets.
Grigor Dimitrov vs. Leo Mayer
Dimitrov is on a 7 match winning streak, which is also 7 straight on grass, and he survived a five set battle with Alex Dolgopolov in round 3 last, along with previous 3 set wins over Ryan Harrison and Luke Saville in rounds 1 and 2.
Mayer, who is normally a clay specialist, has shockingly reached the second week of a slam for the first time in his career. He scored a five set win over Andreas Seppi in round 1, a 4 set win over Marcos Baghdatis in round 2, and a straight sets win over Andrey Kuznetsov, who knocked David Ferrer out of the tournament with a great performance in round 2.
Mayer really doesn’t have the weapons or the game to trouble Mayer, and I like Dimitrov to advance easily in 3 sets.
Stan Wawrinka/Denis Istomin vs. Feliciano Lopez/John Isner
Rain postponed some of the matches on Saturday at Wimbledon, and with no play on Middle Sunday, Wawrinka/Istomin and Lopez/Isner must complete their third round matches tomorrow, then play their fourth round meeting on Tuesday.
I like Wawrinka to get past Istomin, and Isner to defeat Lopez, so Wawrinka/Isner is the expected Tuesday matchup.
Wawrinka has wins over Joao Sousa in 3 and Rendy Lu in 4 thus far. Istomin beat Dmitry Tursunov in 4 and Julian Reister in 3. Lopez is on a massive hot streak and extended it with wins over Yuichi Sugita in 3 tiebreaks and Ante Pavic in 3.
Istomin did beat Wawrinka at Wimbledon in 2010, but the Swiss looks better than he did at Roland Garros, and then Lopez-Isner should be a great match. I think John just edges that one out. I’m going with my prediction at the beginning of the week, which is Isner in the quarters, so I like him to beat both opponents and reach that stage.
Roger Federer vs. Tommy Robredo
Fed has looked textbook against Paolo Lorenzi, Gilles Muller and Santiago Giraldo, surrendering just 23 games total, while Robredo beat Lukas Lacko in 4, Adrian Mannarino in straights and Jerzy Janowicz in 5. He avoiding collapsing from 2 sets to love up against the Pole. This is already Robredo’s best ever result at Wimbledon, at an advanced stage in his career no less, and Federer should win this comfortably in 3 sets.
Milos Raonic vs. Simone Bolelli/Kei Nishikori
Milos Raonic has suddenly played well on grass, not dropping a set to Matt Ebden, Jack Sock and Lukasz Kubot, while Nishikori rolled past Denis Kudla and Kenny De Schepper before finding himself in a war with the qualifier Simone Bolelli, a former top 40 Italian who has done well on the challenger circuit this year and is now back performing well in the slams.
Bolelli pushed the Japanese number 1 to five sets before the match was suspended due to darkness on Saturday with the score 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-7 3-3. It really is a toss-up who will win the match, but one would have to think Nishikori, being the better player, has an edge to get through.
Bolelli did defeat Tatsuma Ito in 4 and then upset Philipp Kohlschreiber in 5 sets to reach the third round in a poor showing from the German.
The real question to me is whether Nishikori will be fresh enough on Tuesday to deal with Raonic, who has found the formula on grass for the moment. It should be a close match, but I originally favored Nishikori and I’m sticking with that: Nishikori to dispatch both Bolelli and Raonic and reach the final 8.
Rafael Nadal vs. Nick Kyrgios
Nadal did as I predicted, surviving the first week, but dropping a set in all 3 of his contests, as he dropped the first set against Martin Klizan, Lukas Rosol and Mikhail Kukushkin. Meanwhile, my dark horse pick Nick Kyrgios did make the second week, in amazing fashion no less: he beat Stephane Robert in 4 sets, then saved an incredible 9 match points, tying a grand slam record first set in 1982, against Richard Gasquet to prevail 10-8 in the fifth set in round 2. All those match points were saved in the span of a few games in set 5 (including a hold from 0-40 down, and a match point saved by challenge), and on top of that, he came back from 2 sets down. The scoreline 3-6 6-7(4) 6-4 7-5 10-8 shows you how close the contest was, a heartbreak for Gasquet who has lost 6 matches from the position of 2 sets to love ahead in his professional career.
Kyrgios followed that up by beating fellow rising young gun Jiri Vesely in 4 sets.
This is a huge opportunity and a big stage for Kyrgios, who seems to up his game under pressure and against top opponents. Now that he should be fresh, with this match not taking place until Tuesday, he should be ready for a renewed push.
But Rafa is Rafa, and I like the Spaniard in 4 or 5 because again, I see him finding a way to win, behind his grit and experience, even while his movement on grass isn’t as good as it was and his consistency with groundstrokes sometimes escape him.
Kyrgios’ rising is great for the game and he will bring more fans to the sport, but I don’t think he’s quite up to grand slam quarterfinal level yet. It’s a match worth watching, regardless.
Djokovic d. Cilic in 3
Murray d. Dimitrov in 5
Federer d. Isner in 3
Nishikori d. Nadal in 5
Djokovic has defeated Cilic every time they have played, including twice this year, and nothing suggests that he won’t do so again.
I said Murray-Dimitrov would be a battle going into the tournament and that appears to continue to be the case, but Murray should have the experience edge to prevail.
Fed looks strong and shouldn’t have trouble reaching the semis.
Though Nishikori struggled against Bolelli, I’m going to stick with my guns and go with him over Rafa in the quarters.
Murray d. Djokovic in 5
Federer d. Nishikori in 4
Again, sticking with my original picks: Murray to survive Novak on grass, Fed to prevail over Kei.
Murray d. Federer in 4
Going with the original prediction since both players haven’t had any trouble in their first three matches and are still alive and healthy. There will be a lot at stake should they meet in the final.
Devvarman, Levine, Myneni, Williams Round Out @CVilleTennis Quarterfinalists
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., October 30, 2013 – The quarterfinal round is all set at the Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger at The Boar’s Head Sports Club, as the second round of singles play concluded with four matches on Thursday. The semifinals of the USTA Pro Circuit event will be played two hours earlier than originally scheduled on Saturday.
On Thursday, No. 2 seed Somdev Devvarman got past Denys Molchanov of the Ukraine, 6-2, 6-3. Devvarman, the former two-time NCAA singles champion at the University of Virginia, will take on No. 7 Rhyne Williams in the quarterfinals. Williams enjoyed an easy 6-3, 6-1, second-round victory over American qualifier Kevin King on Thursday. Devvarman, 28, is currently ranked No. 91 and was the singles runner-up of the inaugural Charlottesville tournament in 2009. The 22-year old Williams is a two-year pro and a former NCAA singles finalist at the University of Tennessee.
Also on Thursday, Jesse Levine defeated fellow Canadian Filip Peliwo to move on to the quarterfinal round, 7-5, 6-2. Levine, the 26-year old 2011 Charlottesville singles runner-up, will face Saketh Myneni of India in the quarterfinals.
Myneni, who upset top seed Tim Smyczek in the first round, continued his solid play with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Chase Buchanan in Thursday’s finale. Levine boasts a world ranking of 160.
On the doubles side, three teams punched their tickets into Saturday’s semifinal round. No. 2 seeds Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren eliminated former UVa teammates Devvarman and Sanam Singh, 6-4, 6-2. They will face Jarmere Jenkins and Donald Young, who on Thursday knocked off Levine and Molchanov, 6-3, 6-3, in the semifinals on Saturday. Steve Johnson and Smyczek became the first duo to advance to Saturday’s semis with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Carsten Ball and Peter Polansky in Thursday’s first match.
In doubles opening-round play, Alex Kuznetsov and Williams teamed up to defeat former UVa wild cards Teddy Angelinos and Michael Shabaz, 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.
Friday’s quarterfinal action starts off with a bang, as three of the four remaining seeded singles competitors will take the court in the first two matches of the day. In the opening match, Young faces Canada’s Peter Polansky, followed by the showdown between No. 2 Devvarman and No. 7 Williams. Myneni will then face Levine prior to Friday’s lone doubles match between the British duo of David Rice and Sean Thornley, and Kuznetsov and Williams, for the last spot in Saturday’s semifinal round. Friday’s featured match will follow, as 35-year old all-time Pro Circuit wins leader and No. 3 seed Michael Russell goes up against Jenkins. A full schedule is listed below.
The Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger features 32 singles players and a 16-team doubles field. Thanks to the generosity of this year’s sponsors, admission to the tournament is free all week long, and will again benefit Special Olympics Virginia.
Main Draw matches will start at 11 a.m. on Friday. The start time for the semifinal matches on Saturday, originally slated for 1 p.m., will now be moved up to 11 a.m., and all four semifinal matches will be played consecutively. Saturday’s featured match will not begin prior to 5 p.m. The finals will be played on Sunday, November 3, beginning at 1 p.m. (doubles final followed by singles, unless one or more competitors are still alive for both).
The tournament’s 2012 singles champion, Denis Kudla, is not back to defend his title this week. Live scores can be found online at http://www.usta.com or by using the free ATP/WTA app for your mobile device. Also, a live feed from the tournament can be found daily at http://www.procircuit.usta.com.
Thursday, October 31 – RESULTS
Singles – Second Round
 Somdev Devvarman, India, d Denys Molchanov, Ukraine, 6-2, 6-3
 Rhyne Williams, United States, d [Q] Kevin King, United States, 6-3, 6-1
Saketh Myneni, India, d Chase Buchanan, United States, 6-4, 6-4
Jesse Levine, Canada, d Filip Peliwo, Canada, 7-5, 6-2
Doubles – Quarterfinals
 Austin Krajicek, United States / Tennys Sandgren, United States, d Somdev Devvarman, India / Sanam Singh, India, 6-4, 6-2
Steve Johnson, United States / Tim Smyczek, United States, d Carsten Ball, Australia / Peter Polansky, Canada, 6-2, 7-5
Jarmere Jenkins, United States / Donald Young, United States, d Jesse Levine, Canada / Denys Molchanov, Ukraine, 6-3, 6-3
Alex Kuznetsov, United States / Rhyne Williams, United States, d [WC] Theodoros Angelinos, Greece / Michael Shabaz, United States, 6-3, 3-6, 10-6
Friday, November 1 – SCHEDULE
Court 7 – starting at 11 AM
Peter Polansky, Canada, vs  Donald Young, United States
 Rhyne Williams, United States, vs  Somdev Devvarman, India
Saketh Myneni, India, vs Jesse Levine, Canada
Not Before 5:00 pm
David Rice, Great Britain / Sean Thornley, Great Britain, vs Alex Kuznetsov, United States / Rhyne Williams, United States
 Michael Russell, United States, vs [WC] Jarmere Jenkins, United States
Petko, Cornet, Magda, Makarova, Isner, Tursunov, Haas, Del Po Reach Semis @CitiOpen
The email sent to fans by the Citi Open this morning stated “Blockbuster Quarterfinals Begin at 1 p.m. Today!”
On its face, a Marinko Matosevic vs. Dmitry Tursunov match didn’t appear much of a blockbuster in any sense of the word.
Don’t judge a match by its cover.
Although there were plenty of errors throughout, the men wildly entertained the crowd for Friday’s Stadium Court opener. Tursunov prevailed in the third set tiebreak at 4 for a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 win.
That match was followed by another terrifyingly-close ATP three setter in Washington.
Tursunov will face Atlanta champion John Isner, because he dispatched Marcos Baghdatis in the proceeding match on Stadium Court, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4.
Isner’s serve was on and Baghdatis couldn’t close the deal on Isner’s service games today. Baghdatis never saw a break chance all day, and Baghdatis didn’t see many of the 18 aces Isner fired at him. Still, Baghdatis kept it close.
Isner will seek to reach his third Washington final.
Later, Tommy Haas made the semis over Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets but nearly two hours by a final of 7-6(5), 7-6(3). The German and former Citi Open finalist will take on top dog Juan Martin Del Potro, who concluded the all-male Stadium Court fraternity party/quarterfinals matches with a 7-6(0), 6-2 defeat of Kevin Anderson.
The women’s matches were just as wild on Grandstand 1.
It started with a grueling three-setter between Andrea Petkovic and Paula Ormaechea. Ormaechea came out with unusual speed in the first set, which required adjustments from Petkovic. Petkovic noticed the Argentinian’s big serves throughout the match and joked, “Nice match, Ivo Karlovic” to Ormaechea at the net after the 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory. For Petkovic, reaching each semifinal is a treat to be relished, and she displayed her emotions with another mini-Petko Dance to the delight of the fans on Grandstand.
Alize Cornet of France finished strong in a 7-6(5), 6-2 win against Sorana Cirstea. Cornet had never beaten the Romanian in hard courts in her career, but said that her mental confidence made all the difference this time. Both players have played some of the best tennis of their careers recently. Cornet moves on to do battle with Petkovic.
Defending champ Magdalena Rybarikova just plays well in Washington.
As the 7 seed, she knew she was always going to have to take out the 1 seed, Angelique Kerber, to advance to the semifinals. In a see-saw match, it was Rybarikova who laughed last in a 2 hour and 14 minute victory, 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-3.
She will meet a hardly-tired Ekaterina Makarova on Saturday night, who won on Friday when Monica Niculescu retired after the first game, 1-0.
CITI OPEN – WASHINGTON, DC, USA
USD 1,546,590.00 (ATP)
USD 235,000.00 (WTA)
JULY 27 – AUGUST 04, 2013
RESULTS – AUGUST 02, 2013
Singles – Quarterfinals
 [WC] J Del Potro (ARG) d  K Anderson (RSA) 76(0) 63
 T Haas (GER) d  G Dimitrov (BUL) 76(5) 76(3)
 J Isner (USA) d  M Baghdatis (CYP) 67(5) 64 64
D Tursunov (RUS) d M Matosevic (AUS) 63 46 76(4)
Doubles – Quarterfinals
T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) d A Begemann (GER) / R Bopanna (IND) 64 76(1)
J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) 63 64
G Dimitrov (BUL) / M Llodra (FRA) d [WC] S Johnson (USA) / S Querrey (USA) 64 63
Singles – Quarterfinals
 M Rybarikova (SVK) d  [WC] A Kerber (GER) 76(0) 36 63
 E Makarova (RUS) d M Niculescu (ROU) 10 Retired
 A Cornet (FRA) d  S Cirstea (ROU) 76(5) 62
A Petkovic (GER) d P Ormaechea (ARG) 46 61 63
Doubles – Semifinals
 S Aoyama (JPN) / V Dushevina (RUS) d M Alvarez Teran (BOL) / K Wong (USA) 64 63
E Bouchard (CAN) / T Townsend (USA) d  I Falconi (USA) / E Hrdinova (CZE) 64 62
ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, AUGUST 03, 2013
STADIUM COURT start 12:00 pm
T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) vs J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) – ATP
D Tursunov (RUS) vs  J Isner (USA) – ATP
 [WC] J Del Potro (ARG) vs  T Haas (GER) – ATP
Not Before 9:15 PM
 A Cornet (FRA) vs A Petkovic (GER) – WTA
GRANDSTAND 1 start 12:00 pm
 S Aoyama (JPN) / V Dushevina (RUS) vs E Bouchard (CAN) / T Townsend (USA) – WTA – DOUBLES FINAL
M Fish (USA) / R Stepanek (CZE) vs G Dimitrov (BUL) / M Llodra (FRA) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
 M Rybarikova (SVK) vs  E Makarova (RUS) – WTA