GSTAAD, July 31, 2015
For the first time since the ATP Masters 1000 in Montreal eight seeds made it into the quarterfinals of an ATP event. The final eight went head to head on Day 5 of the Swiss Open in Gstaad.
The tournament’s number two Feliciano López opened the action on centre court, winning 7-6, 6-4 against eighth favourite Santiago Giraldo in an encounter, which was not of highest quality. Both players hit a couple of unforced errors but the 33-year-old Spaniard was able to rely on his service, firing 12 aces to reach his second semi-finals of the season after one hour and 34 minutes.
“I saved a few break points with my serve. That was very important to stay focused and the tie-break in the first set went pretty well with a couple of good points,” López told about the key to success but didn’t turn out to be an early bird.
“I hate to play early, 10:30 a.m. is too much. For everybody it’s tough, for the players and for the crowd as well. But I was surprised to see so many people, who came to watch,” the world number 18 stated and told about his last couple of weeks on the tour.
“The grass court season was disappointing for me, as I hoped to do better. I did well last year and I am happy that we have an extra week on the grass. Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well. I lost two times 6-7 in the third set. I wasn’t so confident in Wimbledon and also had the pressure to defend so many points. Hopefully next year will be better,” he stated but feels well, being back in the mountains.
“I like playing in the altitude. I won a tournament in Johannesburg at 2,000 metres, reached the final in Quito this year and always feel comfortable in Madrid. So it’s good for my game and it doesn’t take so much time for me to adapt to the conditions.”
López will meet third seed Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals. The world number 24 from Austria defeated the tournament’s number seven Pablo Carreῆo-Busta, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The three deciding breaks took place in the sixth game of each set. Thiem was very solid from the baseline and overpowered his opponent in most of the forehand rallies. Only in the second frame, the 24-year-old Spaniard put a lot of pressure on Thiem’s backhand and took the match the distance. In the end, the youngster from Wiener Neustadt got back to his rhythm and closed the match after one hour and 34 minutes.
“It was very difficult today. I played well in the first and the third set. Pablo improved in the second and deserved to win this frame, but I am happy that I kept the pace and closed the match out. The atmosphere was great and I enjoyed the support from the spectators,” Thiem told afterwards.
Thiem and Carreῆo-Busta met at the final of the ATP Challenger in Como in 2013 the last time. “I think, that we both have improved tremendously since then. Our level of tennis compared to two years ago has risen. We serve better and reduced our unforced errors,” the 21-year-old explained. “Pablo plays a challenging backhand cross court and it was a pretty good practice for my own backhand today,” Thiem added with a smile and is looking forward to the semi-finals clash with López.
“I played two times with Feliciano before but this was on hard court. Tomorrow will be a totally different match. Of course, it will be difficult playing against him at this altitude, as he has very strong service as well as a good forehand.”
Thomaz Bellucci remains “the man to beat” in Switzerland. The two time Swiss Open winner (2009 and 2012) and fifth seed defeated defending champion Pablo Andújar, winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Bellucci won 71% of his first service points and capitalized on five of his 14 break point chances to seal victory in one hour and 50 minutes.
Bellucci claimed three of his four ATP titles on Swiss soil, the last in Geneva in May. The 27-year-old Brazilian spoke to the press after the match:
In the round of the final four, Bellucci will face top-seed David Goffin. The 24-year-old Belgian beat sixth favourite Joao Sousa, winning 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 in a match with a lot of ups and downs on both sides. Goffin won 75% of his first service points and was more solid in the tie-break of the third set to close the match after two hours and 39 minutes.
Goffin spoke to Tennis TourTalk after his match and also explained his reasons for pulling out of Kitzbühel: