A total of 8,000 fans flocked into the Am Rothenbaum today to watch some enthralling quarterfinal matchups here at the Hamburg Open as the top four seeds competed for a place in the semifinals of the prestigious tournament.
Day 6 here at the Hamburg Open featured the top seed, Dominic Thiem, hometown favourite Alexander Zverev, world no. 10 Fabio Fognini, and defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Thiem unable to crack the Rublev cube
The Austrian looked in firm control of the first set, as he broke and served for the set at 5-3. However, the top seed of the tournament was unable to play his best game when it mattered the most and crucially gave the break away and ultimately the set.
The World No. 4 analyzed the match in his press conference and was critical of himself at some moments in the match, “There were some small, at the end big mistakes that I did in the first set. It is not really allowed for a player like me to mess up a break twice in a set [like] what I did, especially the first one I broke him 4-2.
“The match was basically under my control and then I did some pretty stupid things in that game, [and I] let him back into the match… But the reason that why I lost the match was in the first set.”
For Andrey Rublev, the 21-year-old has struggled recently with a wrist surgery and with his first career win over Thiem, the Russian is through to his first ATP Tour semifinal of the season.
After the match, the Russian spoke about what he thought the keys were to his big victory. “I was just saying to myself that it’s going to be a match like who the first is going to try to be more aggressive. Who the first is going to take the lead. Who is trying to dictate more… Every point maybe who is going to take the forehand and try to be aggressive… You could see that when I was winning I was more aggressive.
“So, it was more about, who is going to do it faster and better. And in the end, you could see, it was a close match… And I was a little bit, I don’t know, better or a little bit more lucky.”
Zverev Victorious in Hamburg
The hometown favourite, Alexander Zverev, was two points away from defeat. The German found himself 6-2 5-2 down to the world no.58, Filip Krajinovic, who was seeking his second career top 10 win. After more than two hours on court, the reigning Nitto ATP champion mounted an extraordinary comeback to equal his best record here at the Hamburg Open.
After the match, the 21-year-old German spoke about the turning point in the match: “I didn’t play good at all in the first set and a half. Fortunately, I kind of started playing better and better the longer the match went… I broke him at 5-3 which was very important and the match kind of turned from there.”
The World No. 3 also gave credit to the Hamburg crowd, “The crowd helped me. The crowd gave me energy. [They] got me through that one… it’s all for the crowd, and I’m happy to be through.”
Meanwhile, the defending champion Nikoloz Basilashivili continues his love affair with the tournament. The Georgian defeated the French veteran, Jeremy Chardy 6-2 6-3 to advance to the semifinals to play Zverev.
The last match featured the world No. 10, Fabio Fognini, playing the former US Open semifinalist, Pablo Carreno Busta. The Italian looked in good form at the start of the match, and was a set and a break. However, the Spaniard battled back and turned the match around to prevail in three entertaining sets.
Hamburg German Open: Full Day 6 Results
Nikoloz Basilashvili  d. Jeremy Chardy 6-2 6-3
Andrey Rublev d. Dominic Thiem  7-6(3) 7-6(5)
Alexander Zverev  d. Filip Krajinovic 2-6 7-5 6-2
Pablo Carreno Busta d. Fabio Fognini  3-6 6-2 7-6(4)