WASHINGTON, February 27, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)
Second seed David Goffin moved a step closer to reaching his 14th ATP Tour final after winning his quarterfinal match against No. 36 Lorenzo Sonego of Italy, 6-4, 6-4, in 87 minutes at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier on Friday.
Since arriving in France on a three-match losing streak, the World No. 15 Goffin has won two straight matches. After he was stretched to a long three sets before he beat Benjamin Bonzi on Wednesday evening, Goffin said: “This is what I needed, a fight like this to finish with the win no matter what. I was fighting from the start until the end and I’m happy that finally I won a good fight.”
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In Saturday’s semifinal round, the Belgian No. 1 will oppose No. 83 Egor Gerasimov of Belarus, who took out Spain’s 56th-ranked Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, in back of 16 service aces during a spirited two-hour and 28-minute battle at Sud de France Arena.
In their only previous meeting, Gerasimov, who is into his third ATP Tour-level semifinal, beat Goffin, 6-4, 7-6 (5), at last year’s Open 13 Provence.
Semi-finals are locked in 🔒
🇧🇾 Gerasimov v. Goffin 🇧🇪
🇪🇸 Bautista Agut v. Gojowczyk 🇩🇪
Who’s reaching the @OpenSuddeFrance final?
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 26, 2021
In the other half of the draw, No. 1 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain beat No. 6 seed Ugo Humbert of France, 6-3, 6-3, in one hour and 15 minutes. Bautista Agut hit an emphatic forehand winner on match point and responded with a clinched right fist while exclaiming “Vamos! Vamos!”
Clinical from the Spaniard.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) February 26, 2021
With Humbert gone, it marks the first time since 2004 that there will be no French in the finals.
Next, the World No. 13 Bautista Agut will face No. 144 Peter Gojowczyk of Germany, a qualifier who reached the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1 besting of No. 102 Dennis Novak of Austria in a battle of unseeded veterans. Gojowczyk won 88 percent of his first-serve points and was not broken during the one hour and 20-minute match.
Paire, Schwartzman go down in Cordoba quarterfinals
As the Cordoba Open quarterfinals began on red clay in Argentina Friday, 95th-ranked Federico Coria pulled off the biggest upset of his career, and with it reached the semifinals of his first ATP Tour-level event. The Argentine Coria triumphed over No. 2 seed Benoit Paire of France, 6-3, 6-2 to move into the last four in Cordoba. He broke the 29th-ranked Paire six times in 13 attempts and outpointed his opponent 69-48.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 26, 2021
Also, 335th-ranked qualifier Juan Manuel Cerundulo of Argentina reached his first ATP Tour-level semifinal with his 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory over No. 7 seed Thiago Monteiro of Brazil. At age 19 years and three months, Cerundulo is the youngest Argentine to reach the semifinals of an ATP Tour event since Juan Martín del Potro (18 years and four months) in 2007 at Adelaide.
Into the semis! 👊
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 26, 2021
On Saturday, Cerundulo will try to become the youngest Argentine to reach an ATP Tour final since then-18-year-old Chucho Acasuso at the 2001 Argentina Open when he faces Coria, and to become the youngest Argentine to win a title since Guillermo Coria at age 19 at Vina Del Mar in 2001.
🤝 @juanmacerundolo se retiraba del complejo y @fedeecoria se dirigía a la rueda de prensa virtual: se cruzaron antes de la semifinal del @CordobaOpen que los enfrentará este sábado. pic.twitter.com/iMgqlVSMfB
— Córdoba Open (@CordobaOpen) February 26, 2021
In the other half of the draw, No. 1 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina was upset by No. 5 seed Albert Ramos-Violas of Spain, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, in two hours and 27 minutes. Ramos-Vinolas broke the World No. 9 Schwartzman’s serve five times in 12 tries and outpointed his opponent 96-85. He snapped an 0-5 lifetime record against Schwartzman. Next, Ramos-Violas will face 130th-ranked Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis, who beat No. 128 Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia, 6-1, 6-2 in a battle of unseeded players.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 27, 2021
Another Battle of the Brits is coming!
We’re back and this time we’re headed to Scotland! Get ready to watch the best of British men’s tennis LIVE in a brand new format – Scotland vs England. Coming to the @PandJLive Arena for two days of action packed tennis and entertainment. @jamie_murray @andy_murray pic.twitter.com/ws5hvGW5mt
— Battle of The Brits (@BattleofTheBrit) February 26, 2021
New Battle of the Brits event announced for December 21-22, in Aberdeen.
Scotland vs. England, with Andy and @Jamie_Murray playing, plus Dan Evans.
Jamie will be Tournament Director again, with 4 singles and 2 doubles matches.
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) February 26, 2021
From the WTA Insider
Swiatek: “It was my goal from the beginning of the season to be a more consistent player, just play good week by week. I know it’s impossible sometimes. You’re just going to get tired at some point.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 26, 2021
Billie Jean King: Feeling honored
Gutsy and indomitable.
Fearless and brave.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) February 26, 2021
The Way Back Machine: Maria Sharapova a year later
I took this in NYC the morning Sharapova retired. Something out of Gatsby. pic.twitter.com/1TEXSBMLeU
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) February 26, 2021
What they’re writing
Racquet‘s Giri Nathan shares an essay about Daria Kasatkina following the Russian’s recently-ended title drought.
may we all shed a backpack full of stones https://t.co/g0AGRe2Wtr
— giri (@girinathan) February 26, 2021
What they’re podcasting
.@BlairHenley gets to be the very first person to speak to players after they win on some of the biggest stages on tour.
Learn more about her story on the latest episode. https://t.co/7XbabemEAx
— TENNIS (@Tennis) February 26, 2021
What they’re sharing on social media
Madison Keys / Oh, hey, Maddie!
Oh hey Maddie!
— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) February 26, 2021
Petra Kvitova / Beautiful backdrop, Doha
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) February 26, 2021
Johanna Konta / Beach baby!
Beach baby 🌞 pic.twitter.com/lYzX34TNJ2
— Johanna Konta (@JohannaKonta) February 26, 2021