We have reached the semifinals at the ATP Gstaad after a long and exciting week. Of the four players, two are coming from excellent outings in a tournament last week, while the other two have reached the semifinals for the first time in their careers. All four will be longing to book spots in the final. Who will go through?
ATP Gstaad Day Semifinal Predictions
Hugo Gaston vs Laslo Djere
Head-to-Head: first meeting
Hugo Gaston defeated fourth seed Cristian Garin in a three-set nail-biter; to book his spot in his first-ever ATP Tour semifinal. Gaston looked truly incredible in the deciding set tiebreak, where he saved four match points; three of them on return. In the first set, he did very well what he needed to just hang on, keep putting the balls in, and wait for an error from Garin. And throughout the match–expectedly so–he unleashed the drop shots on poor Garin who was standing too far back to reach them. He also held his nerve remarkably well in the tiebreak, not afraid to come forward and attack. There is one visible weakness in Gaston’s game right now: the return. Maybe it’s because of his short frame, but he is having a hard time returning sturdy serves to his backhand.
Laslo Djere prevailed against Arthur Rinderknech, also in three sets. This win highlights his resilience to a great extent, as he labored through the third set to finally break at 5-4 , when he could have finished it in the second set. His serve is in great shape; so is his forehand. Throughout the match, Djere regularly bombarded Rinderknech’s backhand with his sharp forehands. Furthermore, a special mention should be given to his return of serve. Rinderknech is a player who relies heavily on his serve to do the most damage. By minimizing the damage done due to his serve, Djere already had the upper hand in the point.
Gaston’s defense has certainly made a name for itself now. He manages to counter the most difficult shots and runs very well. But it remains to be seen whether he can put up such a performance against the firepower Djere has on his shots. Djere has also been hitting the kick serve very well in this tournament; which might trouble Gaston with its high bounce which his past opponents have found tough to handle at times. Djere made the semifinals at the Hamburg ATP last week and will be hoping to go one better this time. Though it looks like he should be able to make it, there is no doubt that Djere has to go all out against Gaston to do so.
Prediction: Djere in 3
Casper Ruud vs Vit Kopriva
Head-to-Head: first meeting
Vit Kopriva destroyed Mikael Ymer in straight sets, giving away just one game. From the very first game, Kopriva was dictating play. Ymer managed to hold serve only once in the match and got broken five times in the embarrassing defeat. Kopriva had real zeal in his groundstrokes that was too much for Ymer. He was hitting his backhands with conviction and was always ready to hit that extra shot. Still, we cannot ignore the high number of unforced errors from Ymer. Maybe he lost confidence after getting broken for the second time in the first set, and his quality dropped from thereon. That aside, it was such a clinical performance from Kopriva that this hardly seems like his first ATP 250 tournament.
Casper Ruud defeated Benoit Paire in three sets and continued his excellent run this season, by making yet another semifinal on clay. His overall game is looking flawless, and it is hard to stifle him at the moment. His defensive game is proving to be really effective, with none of his opponents being able to out-rally him till now. Ruud has a beautiful backhand down the line that has been shadowed by his tendency to convert as many backhands as possible. Here, his inside-out forehand deserves a lot of appreciation — he has gained high proficiency in the shot and has the footwork to execute it. Nevertheless, against top-notch players, this may prove to be his undoing as he leaves the forehand court wide open. Sill, as long as the forehand is strong enough to put him in command; there seems to be no glaring flaw present in his game.
Kopriva, with his spirit and powerful shots, surely looks like a threat to any player. This is his first ATP Tour appearance, and just like that, he makes the semis–that’s no joke. He is extremely talented and surely has a bright future in front of him. He will be hoping to extend his dream run. But what matters here is whether Ruud is ready to give up or not. Ruud is the more experienced player of the two. He will also be hoping to take the title to finish his clay season with a bang. Kopriva has not really met a real counterpuncher till now, which he will find in Ruud. I think Ruud will come on top, being the better and more experienced player.
Prediction: Ruud in 3
Main Photo from Getty.