Thursday, January 9, 2014

ATP round up - Top seeds made to work in Sydney and Auckland

Top seed Juan Martin Del Potro was made to
 earn his place in the semi finals after a three 
setter against the resistant Radek Stepanek. 
During the match, Del Potro produced 14 aces 
compared to the Czech's 3 as well as saving 
7/10 break points. Interestingly Del Potro 
produced more errors and less winners than 
his opponent despite his win. (some
 consolation for Stepanek at least). Quoting the 
Apia International official website Del Potro said:-
“I came here with really high expectations,” 
 “I’m the No. 1 seed, so if I play well, I have chance to keep going.  I’m reaching the semifinals
 for the first time in this tournament.
“I think I’m doing well. I start to play better today than yesterday. The court, the balls are really
 fast. It’s tough to play rallies or to feel comfortable after a really tough off-season.
“I think I’m doing well. I also believe I can improve everything for the next matches and the 
next tournaments.”
In the next round the former US Open champion faces Russia’s Dimitry Tursunov after his 76 62 win over Denis Istomin. In the other section on the draw Bernard Tomic keeps on course for his title defence. The Aussie managed to tame Jerzy Janowicz's conqueror Alexander Dolgopolov in a 64 63 victory. Up next for Tomic will be surprise semi finalist Sergiy Stakhovsky after his 64 63 win over home favouritew Marinko Matosevic. This will be the first meet between them both.

John Isner
Across the sea to New Zealand and top seed David Ferrer had a tricky quarter final win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at the Heineken Open. Things was going according to plan for the top seed who was serving for the match at 63 54 up. Garciz-Lopez however showed his resistance and broke Ferrer's serves leading to him clinching the second set. In the third set Ferrer broke early only to be broken again himself to level it at 3-3. He was finally able to consolidate his break against Garciz-Lopez at 4-4 when he broke to lead 5-4. He was then able to take the match on his serve. Up next for the Spainard is unseeded Yen-Hsun Lu who beat Steve Johnton 64 64.

In the other half John Isner was once again involved in a marathon match against Phillip Kohlschreiber. In the two and a half hour match consisting of three tie breaks, there was impressively no breaks of serve. Even more impressive was that Isner won 83% of his first serve points as well as hammering down 18 aces. The American finally worn down his German opponent to win 67 (4-7) 76 (7-4) 76 (7-5). After the match he said:-
"I served exceptionally well and that's the only reason I won," Isner said. "I was able to stay even with him throughout the whole match, primarily because of my serve.
"Some days you're just in a good rhythm, and I was certainly in a good rhythm today. I need to make adjustments outside of my serve and that's what I have to get better on."
In the semi final he will face Roberto Bautista Agut after his far far more easier 61 63 win over Jack Sock.

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