cinch Championships 2023: DAY SIX!
Semi-finals day at The Queen’s Club and it was a battle of the youngsters, with Alex de Minaur the oldest aged just 24, up first against 20-year-old Holger Rune.
Before play on Centre started though, Court One action got underway with a battle of the Brits in the wheelchair championships – Alfie Hewett vs. Gordon Reid. A packed Court One stand was in for a treat as Hewett thrashed through the first set 6-1. With plenty of experience behind him, Gordon Reid dug deep but it proved too much of a mountain to climb as Hewett clinched the second set, and the match, 6-3. A really exciting wheelchair tennis final to come, keep your eye on it!
Centre Court packed to the rafters for de Minaur vs. Rune, and rightly so as you would not want to miss a moment of this one! Although it seemed the crowd were behind Rune, it was de Minaur who edged in front with a 6-3 first set victory. Could Rune summon strength on the hottest day of the cinch Champs so far to win two sets in a row? He gave it his best shot, with some electrifying rallies which were tiring just watching, and pushed the second set to a tie-break. It was the Australian’s day as he battled hard to take the second set tie break comfortably, 7-2. The first Australian to reach a final here at Queen’s since Lleyton Hewitt, can he replicate his fellow countryman’s victory back in 2006?
A fast turnaround on Centre for semi final no.2, as the crowd welcomed Sebastian Korda and Carlos Alcaraz to the court. Both exhibiting some fantastic grass court tennis this week, it really was anyone’s game. Alcaraz had clearly been doing his grass court homework because he was moving like he was born on grass. Combining that with the crowd’s support, the Spaniard took the first set 6-3. Korda would have some serious work to do to keep Alcaraz at bay, and started to look capable of it. Alcaraz’s judgment between shot placement and sheer power was on the money as he stepped it up a gear and broke back in the second set to take it, 6-4. Booking his place in the final at Queen’s on his debut, you would be forgiven for forgetting that he’s only played on grass a couple of times. Alex de Minaur stands in his way of the perfect cinch Championships debut…
Last up on centre was the semi-final of the doubles draw, which saw Roger-Vasselin and Gonzalez take on the second seed pairing of Dodig and Krajicek. The first doubles match on Centre Court for the year and the crowd were up for it! Nothing to separate the pairs as they both held serve well at the start of the first set. Dodig and Krajicek held well to take it to a tie break in the first set. 7-4 in the tie break and the second seeds took the first set. One under their belt, could they keep the challengers at bay in the second? Another close one with some token doubles rallies, keeping the crowd thoroughly entertained. At one point it looked light the French/Mexican pair might break and take the lead, threatening a third set – but the Croatian/American team kept their foot on the pedal and we went into a second set tie break. Matches don’t get much closer than this one and after a 7-5 victory in the second set tie break, it was Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek who advance to the doubles final.
Finals day tomorrow, see you all there!