cinch Championships: DAY FIVE!

cinch Championships: DAY FIVE!

Jordan Thompson had quietly but comfortably booked himself a quarter final place, even with a little help from an injured Andy Murray. He faced Taylor Fritz who was looking strong and probably the favourite. Fritz opened the match on serve but it was Thompson who looked strongest and back it up with a break to win the first set 6-4. Fritz, being the fourth seed, would need to use that experience to fight back hard against the Australian who was only gathering momentum if he wanted to avoid going out at this stage. Unfortunately for the American, he just couldn’t find his form and Thompson capitalised to claim the first semi-final spot of this year’s Championships, with a 6-3 win in the second set.

Up next, wild card Billy Harris against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti, who again has been playing some really consistent tennis to get himself to the quarter final stage. Being the only ATP500 champion left in the draw, you would think his experience would see him through on this one against a Brit who had reached this stage of the competition for the firs time in his career. Right you would be to think so, as it was Musetti who pushed ahead in the first set to take it 6-3, with some glorious cross court backhands to leave Harris in the dust. Harris dug a little deeper to take the games further in the second set, but again it was Musetti who broke the Brit to win the second set and the match, 7-5.
Meanwhile, on Court One the formidable pairing of Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury had met their match at Queen’s today, in Neal Skupski and Michael Venus. Two extremely close tie breaks just showed how little there was between the two pairs but it was the British-New Zealand pairing of Skupski and Venus who proved stronger and book their place in the doubles semi-finals. They will face the 2023 champions, the fourth seed pairing of Ivan Dodig and Austin Kraijicek.

With the crowd suitably warmed up, (although they didn’t need much help with the weather being so nice today!), they welcomed Jack Draper and fifth seed Tommy Paul. Draper, likely still reeling from his incredible win over Alcaraz yesterday, would be hopeful he could carry some of that momentum into today’s tie against Paul but it was the American who came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders to take the first set 6-3. Draper, in front of a home crowd, wouldn’t dare give up that easily, and clawed back the second set to level it 7-5. Anyone’s game. Unfortunately for the Brit, the home crowd wasn’t enough and combined with some inevitable fatigue from yesterday’s effort, this made for the perfect winning recipe for Paul who won the second set 6-4. A fantastic run for Draper here at Queen’s and we look forward to seeing him on court in West London again – well done Jack! Paul through to the semis.

Last up on Centre, but certainly not least, we welcomed Sebastian Korda onto court alongside Rinky Hijikata for their quarter final tie. Hijikata has impressed so far as a qualifier. Could he shock us all by making the semis? The Aussie up to serve first but Korda stuck with him and it was tight all the way through the first set, taking us to another tie break. Hijikata snuck ahead and managed to clinch it 7-4. Leaving Korda with a mountain of work to do if he wanted to stop the qualifier from knocking him out. No trouble for the American who put a shift in and broke Hijikata to level the tie with a 6-3 win in the second set. Into the decider we went with the first nine games going with serve. Korda with the break, and climb the mountain he did to take the final set 6-4 and knock Rinky Hijikata out for a place in the semi-finals. What a match!

Click here for tomorrow’s order of play…