Singles Quarterfinals, Doubles Semifinals – July 20, 2018
The centre court was basking in the sun when Rosol and Rola kicked off the The Hague Open quarterfinal action at 12:30pm. Both players have been in the top 100. Lukas Rosol was even in the top 40. Blaz Rola has an impressive physical presence and tough lefty serve. It turned out to be a close match! There were many breaks of serve and deuce situations. It wasn’t a pretty match with a lot of winners though. Rallies often ended with (un)forced errors but it was still exciting. A ball girl unfortunately got hurt after she got hit by a Rosol serve. She was kindly escorted off the court by both players and a lineswoman.
Rosol took care of business in the first set and produced the fewest errors. In the second set, Rola found a better rhythm and as the score suggests both players showed more or less equal strength. Blaz took the tiebreaker. But in the third set it was inconsistency all over again. Rosol edged out the match and claimed his The Hague Open semifinal spot.
A clash of styles in the sense of aesthetics and player character. Yannick Maden is skinny and smooth. He is an effective and smart tennis player, who seems to make the right decisions most of the time. Maden keeps the game simple and executes his shots well. Yannick’s attitude is on the quiet side. Attila Balazs is a very intense player, grunting hard and swinging his strokes with lots of topspin. Attila’s serve movement is very dynamic, much in contrast to Maden’s calm style. Maden is in total control in the first set. Balazs produces errors and Maden does all the right things.
In the second set, Attila slowly sort of grinds back in the match but Yannick lets him do so as well. Balazs loses most of the longer rallies and net points but produces some nice winners. It is clear that Balazs was underperforming in the first set. He claims a very close tiebreak and Maden has blown his chances to finish off the match. In the third however he is the more solid and mentally stable player. Maden takes the match and does what is expected from the top seed. He would later reach the The Hague Open final.
After the long and heated Maden vs Balazs match, Kimmer Coppejans and fourth seed Oscar Otte started their encounter on a virtually empty centre court. It wasn’t a pretty match unfortunately. Coppejans played well though, better than in qualifying when I saw him earlier in the week. He limited his errors and hit some nice groundstroke winners. Watching him today it was no surprise to see him in the quarter finals.
Otte is a tall and skinny German who would love to forget his match I assume. He got frustrated early and received a ball abuse violation. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see his best game today. Credit to Kimmer for being tough and returning serve pretty well. He made Oscar uncomfortable and deservedly won in straight sets.
Luis David Martinez & Goncalo Oliveira (VEN/POR/3) def. Andre Begemann & Dustin Brown (GER/1) 7-6(4), 6-4
Quickly dropped by at 5-5 in the first set. Court 1 was packed, probably courtesy of Dustin Brown. I took some pictures and witnessed some spectacular rallies. The top seed German team lost though.
More than an hour after the expected 6:30 pm start, Giannessi and De Bakker started their match on centre court. Lefty Alessandro took on righty Thiemo. The evening breeze cooled down the crowd but the heat on the court would remain. Giannessi started well in the first set and was clearly the better player. Last year around this time he was 87th in the world, his highest ranking ever. De Bakker, ranked 40th in 2010, stubbornly kept playing dropshots. However he got punished at the net almost every time. I was impressed with Alessandro’s movement and speed. He played solid topspin strokes to which Thiemo often had no answer. Thiemo was often the first to produce an error.
In the second set De Bakker raised his game. He played better selected shots, hit forehand winners and served better. The match got closer. Both players broke serve and faced many breakpoints. An intense tiebreaker followed. De Bakker erased matchpoints and had a killer net ball fall his way. It resulted in Alessandro pulling off some Italian drama. He fell to the ground on his back and looked at the sky in pain. But Giannessi was lucky on an earlier net ball, also on an important point. Giannessi got upset about unclear calls throughout the set. He asked the unimpressed supervisor to come down from the stands to do something about it. As the supervisor walked away, Alessandro seemed to curse at him a few times. After De Bakker clutched out the tiebreak, the match was suspended due to darkness. The next day, De Bakker won the third set 6-4. He would later win the The Hague Open title.