Rublev insulted the referee and lost, Khachanov in the quarterfinals
Thursday’s tournament in Hamburg featured several matches involving Russians. In the men’s singles, almost all the leading Russian tennis players except Daniil Medvedev performed. And women’s Anastasia Potapova played with last year’s Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic. Then Nastya paired with Yana Sizikova went to fight against American Sophie Chang and Andjeda Kulikov in doubles, and Karen Khachanov and Andrei Rublev were scheduled for a match against the first racquet of the tournament, Marcel Granollers and Horacio Ceballos.
Karatsev’s break in the match and Potapova’s quick win
Aslan Karatsev and Anastasia Potapova were the first to play in Germany. Potapova quickly defeated the 19th racket of the world (at the moment) – it took her only an hour. Moreover the Russian player was not brilliant – she had not had a single serve, committed three doubles and lost percentage of her first serve to Krejcikova. But she was more active on the court, converted 7 out of 11 break points and scored more points overall. Barbora on the other hand can’t seem to recover from her injuries and is playing below her potential. However, it does not affect Nastia: she is in the singles semifinals. By the way, the tennis player could get to the final in doubles – in the first set the opponents received a “ram from Sizikova and Potapova,” but then they managed to reverse the course of the match and win.
Karatsev continues to fight, but with mixed success – he barely beat Daniel-Elai Galan, the 113th racket of the world. The Russian lost the first set, so it seemed that he was about to lose the second set, and with it the whole match. Aslan collected himself, although his first serve percentage was very low (only 52%), he served only 48% of his second serves and made six double faults. His opponent had none. His overall winning percentage was about equal – not Karatsev’s strongest match overall, which reflects Aslan’s condition this season.
Rublev’s breakdown and Khachanov’s robbery
We will not see Andrei Rublev again in Germany in singles. The Russian started the match briskly, breaking almost immediately and leading 3-0 and 15-40 on the serve of Francisco Serundolo. But Rublev had no luck so far with the Argentinean – after that his opponent was able to win back, and then made a reverse break. At one point the Argentine player hit a break, but the chair umpire decided he needed to replay the point. He thought the audience shouted something from the stands and distracted Serundolo. Andriy tried to fight and even took his opponent’s serve, but the game fell apart.
The second set was much shorter – Francisco stormed back to lead 5-1 and did not give Rublev any chances. The Russian got nervous and snapped, called the referee stupid and tried to shake his hand sarcastically and was fined a point. The Russian wanted to throw the ball into the stands, but did not do it because of the threat of losing the whole game and decided just to eat it (or bite it). Nothing remarkable happened in the game, although the beginning was promising, but Rublev will be remembered by the Germans with his breakdown.
Karen Khachanov was the last Russian to start singles play, but even before that there was talk of him. The player was robbed on Thursday, and his safe was even broken into. The thieves apparently spared his rackets and sneakers, so Khachanov came to the court, but the mood was probably not good. “Karen is playing a tournament in Hamburg this week, his game is fine, he feels great, but on Thursday a very unpleasant event happened: robbers robbed his room and took everything from the safe. Special services are now taking measures to identify the robbers,” a source familiar with the situation told RIA Novosti.
Khachanov started the match against Fabio Fognini of Italy very tentatively – he lost three points on his serve and risked giving away a game to his opponent. But then he broke up and attacked strongly on his own, and the Italian player committed a double. From here on dominance only increased, until Karen began to make some inaccuracies and lost his advantage. Luckily for the Russian, in the next game Fognini was unable to hold on and after a series of errors Khachanov took the lead again. The Russian won the last set.
From there on the battle was equal – two hard games on both players’ serves where each could have had a break. In the end it did not happen – and the decisive game was only the 11th game, where the Italian was wrong on the length, then on the forehand and finally hit the net. Fabio had no easy task and began to press Khachanov, but in the end it was Fognini who fell behind. And Khachanov, despite a bad start to the day and a robbery, advanced to the next stage. He will not meet Rublev now, as Andrey withdrew, but he can play with Karatsev – both must reach the semifinals for this.