04 August 2018

 By: Ben Raby

Three semifinalists are now known in the men’s draw of the Citi Open, with the final berth to be determined on Saturday afternoon.

The quarterfinal match between Arlington Virginia’s Denis Kudla and No.16 seed Andrey Rublev was postponed until Saturday at 12 p.m., due to inclement weather on Friday.

In the WTA draw, only one quarterfinal match could be completed as Andrea Petkovic
advanced to the semifinals for the second consecutive year. The three other women’s quarterfinal matches will be completed on what should be a busy Saturday in Rock Creek Park.

In the meantime, read up on the details below from the matches and results that did come through on Friday before play was suspended:

ZVEREV EYES SECOND CONSECUTIVE D.C. CROWN:

Alexander Zverev has won eight career ATP singles titles, but never has the World No.3 won the same tournament more than once. That can change this weekend in Washington where Zverev is vying for his second consecutive Citi Open crown.

On Friday, Zverev moved a step closer towards defending that title, rallying from a set down to beat Kei Nishikori 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, in the quarterfinals. With the win, the No.1 seed advanced to the semifinals and improved to 14-2 lifetime in D.C.

Zverev, 21, eliminated Nishikori in last year’s Citi Open as well, with that matchup coming in the semifinals. It seems nothing can slow Zverev down in Washington- not even the rain which has wreaked havoc on the tournament throughout the week.

Rain interrupted Zverev’s quarterfinal match for more than two hours in the third set before he eventually punched his ticket into the weekend.

“Things happen,” Zverev said of the rain. “We’re all used to it by now. I’m just happy to be through to the semifinals and through a very tough opponent.”

Zverev’s triumph over Nishikori also left him with a 39-11 record in 2018. Zverev’s 39 wins are the most on Tour this year, leaving him one clear of Dominic Thiem.

TSITSIPAS MAKES QUICK WORK OF GOFFIN:

While Zverev is seeking his ninth career ATP title, 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas moved a step closer towards his first. Tsitsipas beat No.3 seed David Goffin in straight sets in their quarterfinal match on Stadium Court.

Tsitsipas broke Goffin once in each set en route to the 6-3, 6-4 win. Making his maiden appearance in Washington, the No.10 seed reached his third semifinal of 2018 and his first on hardcourt.

“He’s a very solid baseliner,” Tsitsipas said of Goffin. “Much better from the baseline than the rest of the players, so getting early breaks against this type of player is super important. You raise your confidence like that and you’re just secure when you break from the beginning of a match or set.”
Tsitsipas will meet Zverev in the semifinals Saturday. It will be their first career meeting on the ATP World Tour.

Excluding a 15-minute rain delay during the first set, Tsitsipas needed just 74 minutes on court to dispatch Goffin.

It was relatively smooth sailing for the top-ranked Greek, whose deep run in Washington almost didn’t happen. Tsitsipas had to fight off a pair of match points against American Jared Donaldson in his opening match of the tournament. He then beat James Duckworth and Goffin in straight sets to reach the semis.

Tsitsipas, who entered the week ranked a career-high No.32, is guaranteed to crack the Top-30 when the latest rankings are released Monday.

MURRAY WITHDRAWS:

Following three grueling matches that all went three sets, Andy Murray announced Friday that he has withdrawn from the Citi Open due to fatigue. Murray also announced that he will not compete in the Rogers Cup next week in Toronto.

The former world No.1 is on the comeback trail after missing nearly 12 months due to a hip injury and subsequent surgery. The Citi Open was Murray’s third event since returning in late June. It was by far his busiest and most successful tournament in more than a year. But it ultimately came with a price.
Murray reached the quarterfinals after winning three matches in four nights. In the Round-of-16, Murray beat Marius Copil in a match that did not end until after 3 a.m.

Of the 42 matches that have been completed in the men’s draw, Murray played in three of the four longest. In total, Murray spent 8 hours and 11 minutes on court across three matches.

“I’m exhausted after playing so much over the past four days, having not competed on the hard courts for 18 months,” Murray said in a statement.

“I also need to be careful and to listen to my body as I come from a long-term injury. I’m gutted not to be playing and I’d like to thank the tournament and all the fans. There are lots of positives to take from this week, so I’ll take some time to rest and recover and then to Cincinnati early to prepare and get ready.”

MEN’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS FRIDAY:
[1] Alexander Zverev (GER) d. [7] Kei Nishikori (JPN) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
[10] Stafanos Tstitsipas (GRE) d. [3] David Goffin (GER) 6-3, 6-4
Alex de Minaur (AUS) d. Andy Murray (GBR) Walkover
[16] Andrey Rublev (RUS) vs. Denis Kudla (USA) Postponed - Saturday

PETKOVIC SAVES MATCH POINT, ADVANCES

For the second consecutive year, Andrea Petkovic has reached the semifinals in the WTA draw. Petkovic beat No.6 seed Belinda Bencic 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8) on the newly named John A. Harris Grandstand.

Petkovic saved match point in the third-set tiebreak before advancing to her first Tour level semifinal of the year. The former world No.9 has had to rally multiple times this week, including in her second-round win against No.2 Sloane Stephens when she came back from a set down.

“It definitely gives you a strange boost of confidence,” Petkovic said when asked whether saving a match point in the quarters can potentially propel her to the title.

“It’s like you’re a dead-man walking and someone just revives you. Two days ago, I was down against Sloane, a set and a break, so today when I was down in the most crucial moment and I was facing a match point, I didn’t feel so badly about myself. I had this boost of confidence that I did turn a match around before.”

Petkovic, 30, will face either No.8 seed Yulia Puntintseva or 2014 Citi Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsov in the semifinals on Saturday.


WOMEN’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS FRIDAY:
Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. [6] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8)
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) leads [8] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-2, 2-2 (Susp. rain)
[Q] Allie Kiick (USA) vs. Saisai Zheng (RUS) Postponed – Saturday
[7] Donna Vekic (CRO) vs. Magda Linette (POL) Postponed - Saturday


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