cinch Championships 2023: DAY FOUR!
First up on Centre Court saw seventh seed Alex de Minaur take on Diego Schwartzman. The in-form Aussie, who said Queen’s “is one of my favourite courts in the world”, came firing out of the blocks to take the first set 6-2 against the Argentinian. Despite Schwartzman’s best efforts to halt de Minaur’s charge, he wasn’t able to get a foothold back in the game and the Aussie repeated his first set victory in the second. First match up, first match complete in a little over an hour.
Britain’s Neal Skupski paired up with Wesley Koolhof to form the first seed pairing in the doubles draw, taking on Rohan Bopanna and Matt Ebden on Court One. Koolhof and Skupski took the first set comfortably, 6-3 but Bopanna and Ebden managed to cling on and edge ahead in the second
Game for game at the start of the second match on Centre Court, as Adrian Mannarino faced third seed Taylor Fritz. Both players looking good, but who would falter first? A slow start as we went game for game in the first set but it was Mannarino who broke Fritz to take the first set 6-4. The American would need to win two sets in a row to advance to the quarters – could he do it, or would the Frenchman continue his form? Fritz dug in and the two were neck and neck as the games ticked by in the second. Into a tie break we went, with nothing separating the two. Going into this match, you might have tipped Fritz to take it but it was Mannarino who shocked the crowd and booked his place in the quarter finals, taking the second set 7-6 (9-7).
Third up on Centre saw fan favourite and top seed Carlos Alcaraz face Jiri Lehecka on the other side of the net. Alcaraz admitted he has had to get as much practice as possible in ahead of the cinch Championships, and he would need it to face Lehecka’s fierce forehand return. No problem for the Spaniard who hit the ground running with a 6-2 victory in the first set. Lehecka still looked good and held the first few of his own service games in the second set well, before Alcaraz stepped it up a gear with some marvellous grass court tennis, and a handful of cross court crackers to the take the second and final set 6-3. Alcaraz makes the quarter final on grass in his career. He’ll be a tough nut to crack!
Last up on centre court saw Queen’s legend Grigor Dimitrov take on eighth seed Francisco Cerundolo. On paper, the Bulgarian should see off his opponent no problem, but would there be a second upset on Centre today? Fast start from both but it was Dimitrov who broke to the take the first set 6-3. Into the second set and both players held their service games strong. Cerundolo stuck with it into the second set but Dimitrov’s experience on Queen’s grass proved too much for Cerundolo in the second set and the Bulgarian booked his place in the quarter final, 7-5 in the final set, and will face hotshot Carlos Alcaraz.
All just minutes before a West London downpour set in!
Stay tuned for Day Five’s action…