Alex De Minaur outlasted fellow Sydneysider Jordan Thompson in a lengthy encounter at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart overnight to book a spot in the quarters.
After dropping the first in a close tiebreaker ‘The Demon’ bounced back to take the remaining two, coming out a 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-4 winner in two hours and 38 minutes.
Australia’s No.1 came up big in the clutch, saving 6/6 breakpoints whilst converting 2/4 opportunities on the Thompson serve which ultimately decided the match. De Minaur will face wildcard Jurij Rodionov in the last eight after the Austrian’s opponent, Peter Gojowczyk, retired hurt midway through the first set.
Frustrating day in Stuttgart for James Duckworth who went down to Sam Querrey in straight sets 4-6, 6-7(7). The Aussie was up a break at 3-1 in the second but squandered the opportunity by losing his serve straight after. The match remained on serve until a tense tiebreak that saw the American emerge victorious. The Duck struggled to get a look in on return, with Querrey winning 95% of points on his first serve to go along with 23 aces.
The American will face the talented Dominik Stephan Stricker in the quarters after the Swiss teenager knocked off second seed Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets 7-6(5), 7-6(5). The youngster saved 5/6 breakpoints and won 80% of points on his first serve to secure the win.
The win sees Stricker advance to the quarterfinals of an ATP level tournament for the second time in his career. The first came around a month ago in his tour-level debut in Geneva where he defeated Marin Cilic and Martin Fucsovics. Certainly worth keeping an eye on the World No.335.
Speaking of Cilic, the Croatian also made his way through to the quarters with a convincing win over fifth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-2. Others to advance overnight were Felix Auger-Alliasime and Ugo Humbert who both scored straight sets wins.
Aleks Vukic has fallen just short of a quarterfinal appearance at the Challenger event in Nottingham, eventually losing to eighth seed Kamil Majchrzak 7-5, 6-7(10), 4-6. The Aussie saved four set points in the second before earning two match points of his own which, unfortunately, he couldn’t convert.
Others to advance to the quarters were Kevin Anderson, Marius Copil and Andreas Seppi.
In a mixed battle of Aussies and English, Matt Reid and British partner Ken Skupski overcame Thanasi Kokkinakis and Englishman Jay Clarke in a tight second round encounter. Reid and Skupski came back from a slow start to win the match 2-6, 7-6(3), 11-9.
Matt Ebden and JP Smith had a nice win over Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara 6-4, to join Reid in the semis. The win sets up the potential for an (almost) all-Aussie final in Nottingham.
Marc Polmans and Kiwi Artem Sitak were denied a matchup with Ebden and Smith in the semis after the pair were eliminated from the tournament. The duo went down to American pair Nathanial Lammons and Jackson Withrow 4-6, 2-6 despite serving at 92% on their first serve for the entire match. Interestingly, Polmans and Sitak lost all seven points on their second serve.
Jason Kubler and partner Darian King are still alive in the doubles tournament at the ATP Challenger in Orlando after defeating wildcard pair Oliver Crawford and Sam Riffice 6-4, 7-6(4) in an hour and 36 minutes.
Storm Sanders and Caroline Dolehide are through to the semis at the WTA event in Nottingham after defeating local pair Tara Moore and Eden Silva 6-4, 6-2. The second seeds won 73% of points on their first serve and crucially, won 86% of points on their second attempt to set up the victory.
Local British hope and top seed in the singles Johanna Konta is through to the quarters after overcoming Kateryna Kozlova 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in two hours and seven minutes. Konta was joined in the last eight by local wildcard Katie Boulter, Shuai Zhang, Tereza Martincova, Nina Stojanovic, Kristina Mladenovic, and Alison van Uytvanck.
Jeremy Beale advanced to the quarters of the M15 in Monastir after his great mate Thomas Fancutt pulled out of the contest before it started. Beale will face the top seed Ji Sung Nam for a spot in the final four.
Beale is through to yet another semifinal appearance in the doubles, this time with Kiwi Ajeet Rai. The pair defeated third seeds Tiago Cacao and Erik Crepaldi 7-5, 6-3 in just over an hour.
Aussie Dane Sweeny has been eliminated from the M25 in Wichita after going down to Greek fourth seed Michail Pervolarakis 4-6, 4-6. Sweeny will rue missed opportunities after only converting 4/14 breakpoints whilst only saving 1/7 on his own serve. He and fellow Aussie Tristan Schoolkate also lost a tight doubles quarter final 10-7 in the deciding match tie break.
After finding herself a set down against Xiaodi You at the W25 in Madrid, Olivia Gadecki put in a huge effort to overcome the Chinese second seed 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 in two hours and 41 minutes. The Aussie won 73% of points on her first serve and managed to convert 7/12 breakpoints.
Unfortunately Destanee Aiava was eliminated from Madrid at the hands of Frenchwoman Amandine Hesse 1-6, 3-6. The Melburnian’s serve was failing her throughout the match, winning just 37% of points on her first attempt and giving up 12 breakpoint opportunities.
The good news for Aiava is that she is still alive in the doubles with Gadecki. The pair defeated second seeds Robin Anderson and Isabella Shinikova 6-3, 7-6(3) to book a spot in the final where they’ll face Mana Ayukawa and Na-Lae Han. The Aussies saved 6/7 breakpoints whilst converting ¾ of their own to take the win.
Tina Nadine Smith’s singles run at the W15 in Heraklion came to an end overnight after losing to Czech fourth seed Michaela Bayerlova 5-7, 7-6(0), 2-6. Smith was in the thick of it for a majority of the match but fell away late. The Aussie conceded 16 breakpoints for the match.
Smith and her doubles partner Julia Stamatova received a free pass into the semis after their opponents Anna Popescu and Julia Kimmelmann withdrew from the tournament prior to their match.
Olivia Tjandramulia and Junri Namigata have been knocked out of the W25 in Portugal after withdrawing from their encounter in the final set. The match was in the balance at one set all but the pair unfortunately had to withdraw due to injury concerns.
Listen to The First Serve, Mondays 8pm AEDT 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1170AM SEN Sydney & 1629AM SEN SA or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
Brought to you by 1st Serve Tennis Sunscreen, available at www.sunblessedsunscreens.com.au Order now using the discount code SEN.