All seeds out as Istanbul and Kitzbuhel semis look to create history

IT was a massive day in both Austria and Turkey as seeds skittled across both the ATP 250 and Premier 5 events.


The 2020 ATP Tour continues to throw up a heap of surprises, so it is almost hardly surprising that only one top 50 remains in contention for the Generali Open title. After a massive Round of 16, just Diego Schwartzman (second seed) remained in the quarter finals, but the Argentinian lost out to world number 81, Laslo Djere in straight sets. It marked the diminutive Argentinian’s second loss in three games after going down in the first round at the US Open. Djere won 7-6 6-3 in an hour and 53 minutes on court, by converting five of six break points compared to the world number 13’s three of seven.

Remarkably the world number 81 is the second highest remaining player in the draw, but has earned his spot there with wins over 41st ranked Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Italian young gun Jannik Sinner, and now Schwartzman.

“We played twice before this, so I knew it would be a really tough match with lots of running and fighting and that is what I got today,” Djere said post-match. “I played really good from the beginning until the end… It was a good match and I am really happy that I made it through to the semi-finals.”

Djere now goes on to play German qualifier and world number 118, Yannick Hanfmann who beat another German qualifier in Maximilian Marterer in the quarter finals. Those players had knocked off world number 24 Dusan Lajovic, and world number 33 Hubert Hurkacz in the Round of 16. Now Hanfmann is eyeing off returning to the top 100 with a career-high ranking of 99, having defeated Marterer 6-2 7-5 in their quarter final.

Remarkably Hanfmann is not the lowest ranked player remaining in the draw. That honour goes to Swiss qualifier, Marc-Andrea Huesler who booked a spot in the semis with a 6-4 6-3 win over Feliciano Lopez, 6-4 6-3. The victory over the experienced Lopez came after a stunning 6-1 6-2 blitz of Fabio Fognini in the second round. Now the world number 303rd – who has a career-high ranking of 263rd and a total ATP Tour win-loss record prior to this tournament of 2-4 – will look to double his entire career win total when he locks horns with Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

Kecmanovic is the highest ranked player left in the draw at world number 47, and made it through with a 6-4 6-7 7-5 victory over Federico Delbonis. As one of the three players remaining without a title, the up and coming Serbian has a huge chance of taking home his maiden trophy. Djere, the only player left with an ATP Tour title to his name, won the 2019 Rio Open, also on clay.



Eugenie Bouchard‘s confidence of winning her second career title would be sky-high after the former top five Canadian stretched her winning streak to three with victory over Macedonian, Danka Kovinic. Bouchard won 3-6 6-4 7-5 winning in another hard-fought slog lasting three hours and two minutes on the clay courts of Istanbul. The world number 262 has finally found her form that took her to the top of the world rankings, and is delivering in 2020, by knocking off the world number 92 and booking a spot in the BNP Paribas Tennis Championships.

Even though Bouchard was suffering some shoulder soreness, the Canadian junior prodigy, who has fallen on poor form over the past few years, was able to push through it showing the determination to win at all costs.

“I won because of not giving up, fighting, being tired physically and mentally. So I’m really proud of that,” Bouchard said post-match. “It shows me that even though I wasn’t feeling great before the match, at the start of the match and in the first set, that I can turn things around. “There’s always hope. “It gives me a sense of confidence that I can give myself a chance, even when things aren’t going well.”

Whilst she might be the lowest ranked player remaining in the draw, she is the only player with a title – winning Nurnberg back in 2014 – whilst best remembered for her run to the 2014 Wimbledon final at 20-years-old. Now 26, Bouchard is finding her form again and takes on world number 94 – Spaniard Paula Badosa – in the semi-finals. Badosa defeated third seed, Polona Hercog 7-5 6-4 to make it through to the final four. The biggest upset of the day was world number 88 Patricia Maria Tig toppling an out-of-sorts Rebecca Peterson.

The second seed Swede had a quick match in the second round, and after a bye in the first round, had played just five games prior to the quarter finals. It proved damaging as Tig took full advantage on her way to a 6-3 6-1 victory and moved into the semi-finals. Now Tig locks horns with Czech qualifier, Tereza Martincova who continued her stunning run with an upset with of Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-2 6-3.

Sasnovich has been in scintillating form of late, but was absolutely smashed by Martincova who won in just an hour and 22 minutes to progress through to the semi-finals. Ranked 136th in the world, Martincova will certainly move higher than her career-high 114th in the world as she runs deep in the tournament.

Pic: BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul

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