Russian rising stars cruise into Canadian Open semi-finals
Montreal, Aug 10 (IANS) A pair of 23-year-old Russian rising stars rolled into the semi-finals of the Canadian Open with straight-set victories.
Ninth-ranked Daniil Medvedev became the first of the two to book his spot in the final four of this hard-court ATP Tour Masters 1000 event when he wrapped up a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over Austrian world No. 4 Dominic Thiem on Friday.
Medvedev needed just 57 minutes to earn his first victory over Thiem in three attempts, with the Austrian having defeated the Russian in the Barcelona Open final 6-4, 6-0 earlier this year on clay and in a quarter-final match in St. Petersburg, Russia, on hard court last year, reports Efe news.
Thiem, who never appeared comfortable during Friday's contest and was unable to impose his intensity and superior fitness, got behind 2-0 early on by dropping his serve and then was broken a second time to lose the set.
The second set began in similar fashion, with Medvedev notching two more service breaks and clinching the victory with one final service hold.
Medvedev did not face a single break point during the match and won 96 per cent of his first-serve points and 63 per cent of his second-serve points.
Thiem, by contrast, struggled mightily on serve, winning only 59 per cent of the points when putting his first serve in and just 33 per cent of his second-serve points.
Eighth-ranked Russian Karen Khachanov also moved through to the semi-finals thanks to a dominant performance on serve, defeating German world No. 7 Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-3.
Khachanov saved both of the break points he faced, both of which came in the second set.
The Russian performed well on both his first-serve and second-serve points, winning 82 per cent and 61 per cent of those points, respectively.
Zverev also was solid on his first-serve points, but was vulnerable when having to put in his second serve, winning just 32 per cent of those points.
The German also gave eight points away with double faults - five in the first set and three in the second set.
Medvedev and Khachanov will square off in one of the semi-final matches on Saturday.
The other semi-final will pit the winners of two matches to be played Friday night: Spanish world No. 2 Rafael Nadal against Italian world No. 11 Fabio Fognini and Frenchman Gael Monfils versus Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
The Canadian Open is a key tune-up for the last Grand Slam tennis event of the 2019 season, the US Open, which gets under way on August 26.