ATP

Tsitsipas threepeat hopes scuppered by Herbert in Marseille

By Sports Desk March 12, 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas saw his hopes of a hat-trick of titles at the Open 13 Provence ended by a shock quarter-final defeat on Friday.

The second seed was upset by French world number 93 Pierre-Hugues Herbert, as the doubles expert scored a 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-2 win.

Herbert had won only one singles match on tour in 2021 before this week, but Kei Nishikori and Cameron Norrie fell to the 29-year-old in the early rounds before he stunned world number five Tsitsipas.

It was a first career win in singles over a player ranked in the world's top five for Herbert, and he said: "It has been an incredible week for me so far, especially this match."

Quoted on the ATP website, Herbert added: "I knew I was going to have to play an amazing match to have a chance to win and I managed to do that. I am really happy about the way I played. I am so happy to be in the semi-finals here."

A French finalist is guaranteed as Herbert will face compatriot Ugo Humbert in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Humbert beat another Frenchman, world number 138 Arthur Rinderknech, in a tight contest, saving a match point and coming through 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4) in two hours and 36 minutes.

Russian top seed Daniil Medvedev chased off the threat of Jannik Sinner at this indoor event for the second year running, securing a 6-2 6-4 success against the Italian teenager.

Their only two career meetings have come in Marseille, and Medvedev bossed this encounter, taking three of his five break chances and holding serve throughout.

He will face Australian Matthew Ebden in the final four after the world number 287 earned an eye-catching 4-6 6-4 6-2 win over Russian third seed Karen Khachanov, who was champion in 2018 in Marseille.

At the Qatar Open, Nikoloz Basilashvili backed up his three-set win over Roger Federer by reaching the final of the tournament.

The Georgian scored a 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 semi-final victory over American Taylor Fritz in a clash of two unseeded players.

Basilashvili will tackle Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut for the title on Saturday after the fifth seed ousted Russian third seed Andrey Rublev.

A 6-3 6-3 win for Bautista Agut nudged the man from Castellon de la Plana into a 3-2 career head-to-head lead over his Muscovite opponent.

Related items

  • Fritz edges Opelka in three-set Atlanta Open thriller, Norrie knocked out Fritz edges Opelka in three-set Atlanta Open thriller, Norrie knocked out

    Fifth seed Taylor Fritz defeated compatriot fourth seed Reilly Opelka in a three-set epic in the quarter-finals at the Atlanta Open on Friday.

    Fritz, who reached last week's Los Cabos Open semi-finals and is currently ranked 36th in the world, edged out Opelka 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4) in just under three hours.

    The pair sent down a combined 48 aces, with Fritz claiming 25 of them, with all sets going to tiebreakers, with no breaks of serve.

    Third seed Cameron Norrie was bundled out by Finnish world number 78 Emil Ruusuvuori in straight sets.

    Norrie, who won last week's Los Cabos Open for his maiden ATP Tour title, was beaten 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 by the Finn.

    Ruusuvuori will take on teenager Brandon Nakashima in the semi-finals, after the American – who was runner-up to Norrie in Los Cabos - beat Jordan Thompson 7-6 (7-5) 7-5.

    Sixth seed John Isner sent down 30 aces as he got past Australian qualifier Chris O'Connell 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 6-4.

  • Tokyo Olympics: Djokovic desperate for 'at least one medal' after semi-final defeats Tokyo Olympics: Djokovic desperate for 'at least one medal' after semi-final defeats

    World number one Novak Djokovic is desperate to rebound after his men's singles semi-final defeat, targeting "at least one medal" for Serbia with two bronze medal matches on Saturday.

    Djokovic, chasing an elusive Golden Grand Slam, went down in three sets to German fourth seed Alexander Zverev on Friday in the men's singles.

    The Serbian will instead face Pablo Carreno Busta in the men's singles bronze medal match on Saturday, while he has another medal hope in the mixed doubles.

    Djokovic has partnered with Nina Stojanovic and will face Australian duo Ashleigh Barty and John Peers in the bronze medal match also on Saturday.

    “I feel terrible right now in every sense but tomorrow hopefully a fresh start I can recover and win at least one medal for my country,” Djokovic said.

    After losing to Zverev 1-6 6-3 6-1, Djokovic's tough day was compounded with defeat alongside Stojanovic in the mixed doubles' semi-finals to the Russian Olympic Committee's Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.

    “Tough day, a really tough day," Djokovic said. "I feel so terrible right now. I was leading by a set then a break and [Zverev] managed to turn the match around.

    "He served huge, was attacking, and I was not getting any free points on my first serves.

    “I've got to give him credit for turning the match around. He served extremely well. I mean I was not getting too many looks on the second serve.

    "My serve just drastically dropped. I didn’t get any free points from 3-2 up in the second. My game fell apart.

    “To play someone of his quality, of his level, it's just too tough to win a match [like that]. It’s just sport. He played better.”

  • Ruud extends long winning run to reach Generali Open final Ruud extends long winning run to reach Generali Open final

    Top seed Casper Ruud is through to his third successive ATP final after defeating Arthur Rinderknech at the Generali Open.

    The world number 14 has been in incredible form on clay, having captured the Swedish Open and Swiss Open titles.

    Ruud, who also landed the Geneva Open crown in May, has now won his last 11 matches, but was made to work hard for a 6-3 7-6 (9-7) victory over world number 91 Rinderknech in Kitzbuhel.

    The Norwegian was forced to come from behind and defeat Sweden’s Mikael Ymer on Thursday, saving a match point in the process, and a single break swung a close opening set in his favour.

    Fresh from defeating third seed Filip Krajinovic in the last eight, Rinderknech refused to lie down and took the second to a tie-break.

    The big-serving Frenchman fired down 10 aces, but Ruud held his nerve to avoid a decider and prevail, saving a match point as he came from a mini-break down to extend his winning run.

    The 22-year-old will play Pedro Martinez in the final after the Spaniard came from behind to beat Germany’s Daniel Altmeier 4-6 6-3 6-3.

    Spaniard Martinez won 70 per cent of points behind his first serve and broke four times to move into the championship match.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.