Four seeds proceed to Antwerp and Cologne quarter finals

THE Round of 16 has been complete at both ATP 250 events in Cologne, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium with both competitions seeing a couple of upsets and the latter in particular seeing four close contests. Four seeds remain at both Cologne and Antwerp, with a couple of qualifiers making it to the quarters at the latter tournament.

At Cologne, second seed Diego Schwartzman was the only seed to make it through the day, downing lucky loser Oscar Otte on his way to 6-3 6-2 victory. Unfortunately for homegrown talent Otte, Schwartzman controlled proceedings with ease, with a 71 per cent to 53 per cent winning rate off the first serve telling much of the tale of the 79-minute victory. Otte’s compatriot and competition seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff did not fare much better, winning the first set against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka but failing to control the rest of the match, eventually going down 2-6 6-3 7-6 in what finished as a tight encounter. While Nishioka was marginally more effective on-serve, he weathered Struff’s strong serve – which peaked at 219km/h – better than the German weathered his own slower service games – peaking at 185km/h – to come away with the win.

In the remaining two games, third seed Canadian Denis Shapovalov struggled to get going against Frenchman Gilles Simon, failing to really hit the mark in the first set before fighting back to win the second. Ultimately though, Shapovalov was unable to capitalise on his opportunities in the 6-1 4-6 6-2 effort. Despite the fight back, Simon was clinical and led much of the stats, winning 64 per cent of his service points and 51 per cent on the return to win in under two hours, handed a plethora of points through Shapovalov’s 13 double faults. Meaanwhile, Italian teenager Jannik Sinner downed French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert in just 75 minutes, coming away with the quickest win of the day 6-3 6-1.


Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) defeated [7] Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 2-6 6-3 7-6
[2] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated [LL] Oscar Otte (GER) 6-3 6-2
Gilles Simon (FRA) defeated [3] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 6-1 4-6 6-2
Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated [Q] Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 6-3 6-1

It was a day of close results at Antwerp and unfortunately for the host nation, things did not go Belgium’s way with both first seed David Goffin and young wildcard Zizou Bergs knocked from contention. The former was defeated in straight sets by American qualifier Marcos Giron, with a slow start limiting his ability to get over the line in the 6-3 7-5 battle. The one-hour and 40-minute affair saw Giron be much more consistent in his first top 20 win, and while he only won 61 per cent of his overall service points he was able to back up his first serve (67 per  cent efficiency) with his second (52 per cent) while Goffin struggled in comparison (63 per cent and 38 per cent). Goffin’s young compatriot was unlucky to draw third seed and in-form Russian Karen Khachanov, and while Bergs put up a tough fight it was not enough to proceed to his maiden tour-level quarter final, going down 5-7 6-4 6-4 in almost two and a half hours. The close battle saw Khachanov win just five more points overall, marginally leading off service and return efficiency.

American seventh seed Taylor Fritz was not quite as lucky as compatriot Giron, going down to qualifier Lloyd Harris who has proved to be in good form with his second quarter finals berth in two weeks. With 12 aces for zero double faults, Harris was cleaner than his hard-hitting opposition in the 7-5 7-6 match, and while his second serve faltered (47 per cent effectiveness) his 82 pr cent winning rate off his first serve more than made up for it. The final match of the round saw fifth seed Canadian Milos Raonic reign supreme over Britain’s Cameron Norrie, with the same close 7-5 7-6 result played out and Raonic’s  whopping 19 aces the significant gamechanger here.


[Q] Marcos Giron (USA) defeated [1] David Goffin (BEL) 6-3 7-5
[3] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated [WC] Zizou Bergs (BEL) 5-7 6-4 6-4
[5] Milos Raonic (CAN) defeated Cameron Norrie (GBR) 7-5 7-6
[Q] Lloyd Harris (RSA) defeated [7] Taylor Fritz (USA) 7-5 7-6

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