HAMBURG, July 15, 2016
The German title drought at the Rothenbaum event in Hamburg will persist for at least another year, as top seed Philipp Kohlschreiber fell in a topsy-turvy match against Renzo Olivo 6-1, 0-6, 5-7 on quarterfinals Friday.
The world number 22 seemed to be in total control of the encounter, gaining two breaks in the opening set. The 24-year-old Argentine, who captured five ITF Future titles in his career fought back, bageling Kohlschreiber in the second frame.
The 32-year-old from Augsburg broke serve in the third game of the final set but couldn’t serve out in the 10th, missing two match points. On the other hand, Olivo capitalized on his first chance to prevail in one hour and 50 minutes.
“Obviously this was a bitter defeat. I had a great start into the match but missed a couple of easy shots in the second set. I was actually able to find my rhythm again in third. I didn’t manage to capitalize on my chances and this was having its revenge. He showed his best tennis towards the end of the match and I wasn’t playing aggressively enough to finish the points. I played some nervous drop shots, which didn’t work out and eventually I failed,” a visibly disappointed Kohlschreiber analyzed in his post match press conference.
“I haven’t been able to dictate my matches during the entire week and neither I was able to finish the encounter today. I fought but couldn’t put much pressure on my opponent. Unfortunately, this has been the story for me in Hamburg this week,” he said and added: “I would really love to put my racket aside now for a while. This was a very painful defeat.” Yet, Kohlschreiber will continue his clay court swing in Kitzbühel next week.
Olivo was understandably pleased with his performance.
“It was a very good match, very long and I am very happy that I could finally win it because it was very difficult. I started with being one set down and he was playing much better than me. But I think in the second set I could play my game. The third was very complicated, two match points down, a break down, so I had to come with everything I had and actually it went really well,” he stated.
“It was my moment when I turned it around and it was five all. I just went for it and I really played my best two games of the match.”
Olivo will appear in his first semi-final on tour-level against Pablo Cuevas. The third seed from Uruguay edged past Paul-Henri Mathieu, winning 7-6, 6-1. Cuevas fired 12 aces and 31 winners, converting two of his four break point chances to advance to his fourth semi-final of the season in one hour and 19 minutes.
“I was a bit lucky, as I had to save set point. Now I am in the semi-finals and I am looking forward to it,” Cuevas was happy afterwards.
Robert knocked out eighth seed Guillermo Garcia-López. The 36-year-old Frenchman, who has returned to the top 100 since May after falling as low as world number 558 one year ago, rallied from a break down in the final set to secure a 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory in two hours and 28 minutes.
“It was a big fight again, a bit like yesterday,” told Robert, who batteld past Inigo Cervantes on Thursday. “It was very important for me to win the first set. Unfortunately, I did a few fmistakes in the beginning of the second set when he held his serve. The third set was physically difficult. The key was to play my game and put the ball in.”
The world number 83 advanced to his first semi-final on ATP 500-level.
“I am playing my best tennis this year so far. The beginning of the season was really amazing and I was nervous, if I was able to hold this level. On hard court everyhing was fine but I was a bit scared of the clay court season but finally I played well. It was also okay on the grass. I have learned to manage the situation to play in big tournaments, big stadiums. Before, I was too nervous but now I manage my emotions.”
Robert will next play Martin Klizan. The seventh seed from Slovakia defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4, 6-3 in the final match of the day. Klizan won 71% of his first service points to celebrate his second victory over the Spaniard in as many meetings between the two.