Weather Wrecks Havoc At Cincy Tennis
It was a rain interrupted day at the Western & Southern Open as play was interrupted four times throughout the day. The fourth band of rain moved in around 9p and eventually led to the cancellation of play for the day. Because of the rain, only three Center Court matches were complete and five Round of 16 matches are still to be completed Friday morning.
Grigor Dimitrov notched his first career win against Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 7-5 Thursday afternoon to reach the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open.
The 7-seed broke Del Potro’s serve in the Argentine’s first service game of the match and held that service break the rest of the set.
Del Potro wouldn’t see his first break point opportunity until the ninth game of the set with Dimitrov serving at 5-3. Del Potro was able to make headway, gaining leads of 0-30 and 30-40 before Dimitrov settled back and took the first set.
The two would trade early breaks in the second set and stay deadlocked deep into the set.
Serving at 5-5, 15-30 Del Potro hunched over, leaning on his racquet for balance twice looking visibly dizzy on court. His serve and ground strokes would suffer as Dimitrov broke with relative ease and held serve to advance to the quarterfinals for the second straight year.
Garbiñe Muguruza, the women’s 4-seed, needed a third set tiebreak to decide her match with 16-seed Madison Keys.
The match was deadlocked in the third set at 2-2 with Muguruza serving at 15-0 before a nearly two hour rain delay.
Keys would come out and win the first two games after play resumed, looking determined to notch her second straight victory over the Spaniard.
However, Muguruza would win the next three games to force Keys to serve to stay in the match at 4-5.
At 5-5, Keys again broke Muguruza and would serve for the match at 6-5.
Keys would fail to convert three match points in that game, giving Muguruza the break and momentum going into the deciding tiebreak.
The 2017 Wimbledon champion would ride that momentum as Keys made too many errors in the tiebreak to mount a comeback to advance 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3).
“I think fighting and believing that until the last point I have my options,” Muguruza said of her play after the win. “And I know I had three match points against, but I did feel that I was doing the right thing.”
John Isner is through to the quarterfinals after a tough 7-6(4) 7-5 win over American NextGen ATP rising star Frances Tiafoe.
The 2013 Western & Southern Open finalist showed his veteran experience on Center Court, winning the big points when they mattered throughout the match.
Tiafoe frustrated Isner throughout the match with his big serve and forehand but was unable to capitalize on his two break point chances in the match.
The match was suspended due to a rain delay at 4-4 in the second set. When play resumed, it was obvious who was the veteran on court and who was the rising, young player. Isner would see 0-30 on Tiafoe’s first service game and break his serve at 5-5.
“I actually didn’t mind that rain delay at all,” Isner said of the weather. “Was very refreshing coming back out there to finish the match.”
With more rain on the horizon Isner served out that match with an emphatic 139mph serve.
On the men’s side, Nadal v Ramos-Vinolas and Kyrgios v Karlovic were unable to take the court due to weather. On the women’s side, Pliskova v Giorgi, Svitolona v Goerges, and Stephens v Makarova were unable to complete their matches. The incomplete Round of 16 matches will be contested early Friday with the winners having to contest their quarterfinal match later in the day.