Top seed Demon dashes into second round

TOURNAMENT favouritism did nothing to distract top seeded Australian Alex de Minaur at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, winning in a tight straight sets match over Belgian Zizou Bergs. For the first time in his career, de Minaur was the number one seed, and he did well against a plucky Bergs, winning 7-5 6-4 to reach the quarter finals of the Libema Open.

The world number nine looked a little shaky early, going down a break to trail 1-4 in the first set, before bouncing back to win 6 of the next seven games to take out the first set. He went on with it in the second set, earning a second crucial break to run away with victory in an hour and 41 minutes.

“It feels great. Zizou is a hell of competitor and a very tricky opponent and I’m very happy I was able to sneak the win today,” de Minaur said post-match. “First win of the grass-court season, so hopefully there are many, many more.

“It’s my first match on the grass [this season]. I’ve been able to get a couple of [practice] sets here and there, but there is nothing like matches. it’s good to get the win under my belt and hopefully I can get some confidence from this.”

The Australian won a massive 86 per cent (32/37) of his first serve points, while breaking even off his second serve points. Converting three breaks to one, de Minaur proved to be too strong for the lucky loser who was coming off a good win over Dutch grass court specialist Tim van Rijthoven.

Looking ahead to the quarter finals and de Minaur faces Canadian Milos Raonic, with the big-serving veteran making the last eight of a grass court for the first time in five years. The pair have met twice with de Minaur winning on both occasions, but both have been on Australian soil, and the latter of which involved a Raonic retirement at Melbourne Park this year.

Raonic did have a good come-from-behind win in the Round of 16 though, fending off former Top 10 Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6 6-2 7-5, while Americans Sebastian Korda and Tommy Paul both advanced to the quarter finals. The biggest upset of the day was Aussie Aleksandar Vukic stunning Russian seed Karen Khachanov in three sets, 6-4 5-7 7-6.


WTA 250 | s-Hertogenbosch

A massive upset took place in the women’s singles with Serbian Aleksandra Krunic stunning top seed Jessica Pegula in three sets. The world number 400 showed she could match it with the best, taking out the fifth ranked Pegula in two hours and 44 minutes, 7-6 6-7 6-4. In a completely unexpected quarter final clash, Krunic will face Hungarian qualifier Dalma Galfi who took down fifth seeded Russian Veronika Kudermetova in an equally tense three-set match.

In other results, it was a mixed bag for the Americans with qualifier Robin Montgomery upsetting German Jule Niemeier, but Emina Bektas fell to Ekaterina Alexandrova. Alexandrova was joined in the quarter finals by fellow Russian Liudmila Samsonova who defeated Swiss wildcard Celine Naef.

WTA 250 | Nottingham

Only the two matches took place on the English grass, with crowd favourite Emma Raducanu wasting no time brushing past Ukrainian Daria Snigur. The US Open winner won 6-2 6-2 in an hour and 19 minutes, while fifth seed Magdalena Frech bounced back from a disappointing first set to win 3-6 6-3 6-1 and face third seed Brit Katie Boulter in the quarter finals.

ATP 250 | Stuttgart

In a battle of the former Top 10 talents and grass court talents, Italian Matteo Berrettini got the better of Canadian wildcard Denis Shapovalov in an hour and 14 minutes. The former Wimbledon finalist won 6-4 6-4 to advance through to the quarter finals. He takes on Australian qualifier James Duckworth who stunned second seeded American Ben Shelton in three sets, 7-6 4-6 6-3.

In other results, American Brandon Nakashima made light work of lucky loser Richard Gasquet – who benefited from top seed Alexander Zverev‘s withdrawal – winning 6-3 6-4 in 71 minutes, while local hope Jan-Lennard Struff was too strong for Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.

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