ATP

Alcaraz storms into Hamburg semi-finals, Berrettini to face Thiem in Gstaad

By Sports Desk July 22, 2022

Carlos Alcaraz outclassed Karen Khachanov to reach the semi-finals of the Hamburg European Open, while Matteo Berrettini will face Dominic Thiem in the last four at the Swiss Open.

Top seed Alcaraz only needed an hour and nine minutes to beat Russian Khachanov 6-0 6-2 in a clay-court masterclass on Friday.

The 19-year-old Spaniard moved a step closer to winning a fifth title this year with a dominant performance, breaking the Russian five times in a one-sided contest.

Alcaraz hit 21 winners as Khachanov was given a harsh lesson and the teenager will next face Alex Molcan, who was 2-0 up in the second set after winning the first on a tie-break when Borna Coric retired due to injury.

"I played unbelievable today, probably one of my best matches this year," Alcaraz said of his win against Khachanov. "I'm pretty happy with the performance that I'm playing in this tournament. Yesterday [a victory over Filip Krajinovic] was amazing as well.

"I'm training every day to be solid and at the same time to be aggressive. That is my game."

Francisco Cerundolo and Lorenzo Musetti will contest the other semi-final in Hamburg after beating Aslan Karatsev and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina respectively.

A rejuvenated Thiem is enjoying another hugely encouraging week and will take on Berrettini in his first semi-final of the year following a 6-4 6-3 defeat of Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas in Gstaad.

Austrian Thiem has not played in a final since winning his only grand slam at the 2020 US Open, but he claimed his first ATP-level victory for 14 months in Bastad last week and is through to his first semi-final since May 2021 after bossing the baseline battle with Varillas.

It was not all plain sailing for Berrettini, who roared back to beat Pedro Martinez 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 after the Spaniard was in command of a second-set tie-break at 5-1, but the second seed extended his winning run to 11 matches.

Top seed Casper Ruud got the better of Jaume Munar 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4), booking a showdown with Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who came through a three-set battle with Nicolas Jarry.

Related items

  • Canada land first Davis Cup title as Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime sink Australian hopes Canada land first Davis Cup title as Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime sink Australian hopes

    Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov steered Canada to Davis Cup glory in Sunday's final against Australia in Malaga, earning the country their first title in the competition.

    Canada were runners-up three years ago in Madrid, when a 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime and 20-year-old Shapovalov lost their respective singles clashes with Roberto Bautista Agut and Rafael Nadal.

    Three years older and three years wiser, this time the Canadians dominated the trophy match at the expense of 28-time champions Australia.

    Shapovalov got Canada off to a flying start by crushing Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2 6-4, setting up the chance for Auger-Aliassime to clinch victory without the need for the contest to go down to a doubles decider.

    World number six Auger-Aliassime made no mistake as he fended off Alex de Minaur 6-3 6-4, adding Davis Cup glory to the four singles titles he has gathered this year.

    Auger-Aliassime saved three break points in the sixth game of the second set, from 0-40, when a trailing De Minaur was looking to hit back. He then sealed Canada's victory minutes later with a forehand into the corner that his opponent could only return out of court, before being mobbed by team-mates.

    Each of Auger-Aliassime's 2022 titles came at indoor hard court events, and he has thrived again in those conditions this week, winning all three of his singles rubbers and a doubles tussle on Saturday against Italy alongside the experienced Vasek Pospisil.

    The Canadian pair got the job done just minutes before kick-off time in their country's World Cup game against Croatia.

    "The emotions are hard to describe," said Auger-Aliassime. "All of us here, we've dreamt of this moment.

    "These guys around me, except Vasek, he's a little bit older than me, we grew up together from the ages of seven, eight years old in Canada dreaming about being on this stage, winning these types of matches, winning a Davis Cup.

    "It's really a dream come true, for me personally and I think for all the team. It was a great moment for myself and the country."

  • Auger-Aliassime believes Canada's time has come as Davis Cup final awaits Auger-Aliassime believes Canada's time has come as Davis Cup final awaits

    Felix Auger-Aliassime is eager to cap a "special year" by leading Canada to Davis Cup glory on Sunday after playing a pivotal role in the semi-final win over Italy.

    Standing in the way of Canada, who were runners-up in 2019 but have never won the event, are 28-time champions Australia after Lleyton Hewitt's team beat Croatia on Friday.

    The Australians have had a day to recover from their efforts, while Canada's success came on Saturday and they must look to carry momentum into the title match in Malaga.

    Lorenzo Sonego gave Italy a 1-0 lead over Canada by beating Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 in an opening clash that lasted three hours and 14 minutes.

    That piled pressure on Auger-Aliassime in the next rubber, as he took on Lorenzo Musetti, but it did not show as he powered to a 6-3 6-4 victory to tie the overall match and set up a decisive doubles contest.

    Canada captain Frank Dancevic chose Auger-Aliassime over Shapovalov to partner Vasek Pospisil against Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini, and the decision paid off as they earned a 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 win.

    It has been a super 2022 already for Auger-Aliassime, who has won his first four singles titles on the ATP Tour and climbed to number six in the rankings, and the year could be crowned from his perspective with the most prized team trophy in men's tennis.

    "It's been a special journey, special year," said Auger-Aliassime. "I think this is the most complete team that we have had in the history of Canadian tennis. I feel we deserve to be in that position now.

    "I have said it many times throughout the years, this is one of the goals I think for all the guys to go far and to win it all.

    "I'm really proud of everybody's effort. It's been a great journey. It's the last day tomorrow of Davis Cup for this year, so we're ready to give it all."

  • Hewitt 'couldn't be prouder' as Australia end 19-year wait for return to Davis Cup final Hewitt 'couldn't be prouder' as Australia end 19-year wait for return to Davis Cup final

    Lleyton Hewitt hailed a mighty Australian effort as his team reached the Davis Cup final with a stunning win against Croatia in Malaga.

    Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson beat the Olympic champion pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in the deciding doubles to earn a 2-1 team victory and set up a showdown on Sunday against Canada or Italy.

    Borna Coric got the better of Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first rubber on Friday, earning a 6-4 6-3 victory to put Croatia in the driving seat.

    After a shock title success at the Cincinnati Masters in August, Coric was looking to end his year on another huge career high.

    However, Marin Cilic could not seal the deal for Croatia as he slumped 6-2 6-2 to Alex de Minaur in the surprisingly one-sided tussle that followed.

    De Minaur broke the Cilic serve four times and held his own throughout, typically with plenty of comfort, as he took down the 2014 US Open champion.

    That meant the contest came down to the doubles, and Purcell and Thompson held their nerve in a gargantuan battle with Mektic and Pavic, coming from behind to score a 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 6-4 victory.

    "I couldn't be prouder of the whole team," team captain Hewitt said, quoted on Tennis Australia's website.

    "We knew we were the underdogs coming into this today and we like being in that position. It's a place I really enjoyed as a player and also as a captain."

    Hewitt was a star of the team when Australia last won the Davis Cup or even made the final, all the way back in 2003. That was the country's 28th triumph in the competition, and now they have a chance to go after number 29.

    "To put us in the final, that feeling, I can't describe it," said Thompson.

    Canada face Italy on Saturday in the second semi-final.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.