Zverev edges Nishikori for Semifinal Berth
In one of two great matches to watch on Friday at the Citi Open, Alexander Zverev‘s serve led him past former Citi Open champion Kei Nishikori 3-6 6-1 6-4. Nishikori started well with a break in the middle of the third set and break points saved to serve it out. However Zverev quickly recovered and showed why he has played so well in DC in previous matches. Zverev’s big hitting and powerful serve kept Nishikori in a defensive prose as Nishikori faced a peppering of break points and dropped set to 6-1. In a third set that was interrupted by rain with Zverev a break up 3-2, the German built a 5-2 lead, and despite being broken when serving for the match, he served it out 6-4 at love to reach the semifinals in a massive win. Stefanos Tsitsipas awaits in the semis.
Petkovic Upsets Bencic in Quarterfinals
Andrea Petkovic is a fan favorite and she’s been playing great tennis in Washington in between rain showers. Petkovic edged Belinda Bencic 6-3 2-6 7-6 as Bencic served up 12 double faults and won less than 40% of her second serve points, the poor service day likely costing her the match. Petkovic broke twice from a break down to win the first, then Bencic reeled off three straight games from 3-2 to take the second set. In set 3 Petkovic game up a break lead and Bencic had three match points in the tiebreak, but Petkovic had two and she took her second one for a 10-8 victory.
Tsitsipas and De Minaur Add Next Gen Flavor to Semifinals
Stefanos Tsitsipas looked and acted like the better player against David Goffin in the first men’s singles match of the day on Friday. Goffin was flat and the young Greek was hitting with ease from both wings, taking out Goffin 6-3 6-4. If he plays as well as he did in this match, he should make some noise this summer, and have a good shot against Zverev in the semis. Goffin won just 35% of his second serve points and was broken twice, while Tsitsipas erased the three break points he faced.
Alex De Minaur got a badly needed rest on Friday as Andy Murray withdrew, handing the young Aussie a semifinal berth. Murray was emotionally and physically drained after three three set wins and a 3 AM finish early Friday morning. In light of his ongoing recovery from hip surgery and commitment to protecting his health and well being, the withdrawal from the quarterfinals does not come as a big surprise.
Double Duty on Deck for Some Saturday Winners
WTA singles quarterfinals will conclude with Donna Vekic serving 3-0 up against Linette, and Svetlana Kuztnetsova returning up 6-2 2-2 against Putinseva. Additionally Zheng takes on Kiick as only Petkovic has reached the semifinals. The three winning women will have to play twice on Saturday (weather permitting).
On the men’s side things aren’t so tiring, Zverev faces Tsitsipas in the semis, while Denis Kudla takes on Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinal that remains to be completed. The winner faces Alex De Minaur. There are also a handful of men’s and women’s doubles matches to be completed with the quarterfinal results still pending in some of those matches.