A scorching hot third day, with the temperatures reaching nearly 100-degrees Fahrenheit at midday, at the 2019 German Open featured some marquee names such as the top seed Dominic Thiem, the defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili and French veterans Jeremy Chardy and Richard Gasquet. Some players struggled with the conditions, but the biggest names managed to come through more or less unscathed.
The Austrian was made to work hard against world #50 Marton Fucsovics. The first set was a tug-of-war with neither player able to get the crucial break of serve and the momentum that would have come with it. But at the eighth time of asking, the Austrian finally broke serve and took control of the set and the match.
At his press conference, the world #4 discussed how important the first set was and how crucial that break of serve was: “The first set was very close and I missed the first eight break chances… I missed two forehands [that] I think [was] very close, I missed this one backhand return on the net cord. So, I played some good points, still didn’t make it and then [the] last possible chance at 6-5 I broke him.”
“I was happy it didn’t go into the tiebreak. And that was also the key moment because from then on I gained more and more confidence, almost everything what I played went in. It was a very good match from my side in the second set.”
The world #4 will next face the in-form Andrey Rublev, who has beaten Christian Garin and Casper Ruud so far at the German Open, in the quarterfinals. Thiem spoke about Rublev in his press conference: “He is hitting the ball amazing, almost from every position on the court winners. So, my main goal is to bring him out of his comfort zone and of course not to let him too much in the offence because there he is amazing.”
An All-French Affair
A close all-French battle between Jeremy Chardy and Richard Gasquet took place on Centre Court. Gasquet took a 4-2 lead in the first set and looked to be in fine form before his compatriot turned the set around to take it 7-6(5) off him. Eventually, Chardy, at 32 the younger of the pair triumphed 7-6 7-5, earning a hard-fought victory over the former-Grand Slam semifinalist.
In his post-match interview, Chardy described his extremely close friendship with Gasquet despite having to play each other very often: “I eat dinner with him literally every night. Last week. The day before. Last night. Even though we try to beat each other on court, off the court we are good friends. He’s beaten me so many times in the past
Meanwhile, youngsters Andrey Rublev and Casper Ruud battled it out, with Rublev, as mentioned above, prevailing in three close sets. Defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili also advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Bastad finalist Juan Ignacio Londero in three sets.
Tomorrow at the German Open will be one for the German fans as home hopes Alexander Zverev, Jan-Lennard Struff, and Rudolf Molleker are all in action. Other big marquee names to feature will be world #10 and third seed Fabio Fognini and the Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta, a semifinalist at the US Open in 2017.
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