The opportunity seemed good to afford his first semi-final on grass. But Hugo Gaston came up against a player on a cloud this week at ‘S-Hertogenbosch on Friday: the Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven, 205th in the world and invited by the organization. At 25, the latter is living the biggest week of his career on the ATP circuit: after winning his first match there, he qualified for the quarter-finals by dominating Taylor Fritz, 14th at the ATP, on Thursday. And this Friday, he pushed the adventure a little further by winning against the French in two sets (7-6, 6-4) and 1h21 of play. For his first half, he will be opposed to Félix Auger- Aliassime or Karen Khachanov.
Gaston stops in the quarters: the summary of his defeat against surprise guest Van Rijthoven
2 HOURS AGO
To see him line up winning shots and send missiles to serve, it would be hard to suspect that he is not even part of the Top 200. And yet, Tim van Rijthoven has only been winning victories on the ATP circuit since A few days. With his one-handed backhand that he can play flat or sliced, his natural power and his impeccable technique, the Dutchman has many assets and Hugo Gaston discovered it at his expense on Friday.
It’s simple, the French, rather in verve at the moment, did not obtain the slightest break point in this quarter-final, his opponent dropping only 8 small points including 2 behind his first ball. After flying over the tie-break of the first set 7 points to 1, Van Rijthoven did not slow down in the second act, quite the contrary. At 2-2, his backhand return plunging right in the center forced Gaston to attempt a tweener which failed in the net and meant the loss of his serve. And the Dutchman, impregnable on his face-off, held his advantage without difficulty until the end. But who will be able to bring him down from his cloud?
“In creativity, Gaston takes you on board, you want to follow him all the time”
Mannarino continues his good series
In the aftermath, another tricolor left-hander had a happier outcome. Defending champion – the last edition of the tournament took place in 2019 -, Adrian Mannarino recorded his 8th consecutive victory on the grass of ‘S-Hertogenbosch on Friday. And to do this, the Frenchman showed character, overthrowing Brandon Nakashima (6-7, 6-1, 6-4) in 2h02 of play. In the semi-final, he could find the future world number 1 Daniil Medvedev, opposed to Ilya Ivashka in the final quarter of the day.
Mannarino could however have been frustrated. While leading 5-2 in the tie-break of the first set, he lost the next five points to see the round slip through his fingers. But his reaction was immediate as he delighted the opposing service at the start of the second act (6-7, 3-0). Finding his rhythm, he multiplied the precise passings and his grazing trajectories gradually made Nakashima bend. Once the counters were reset to zero (6-7, 6-1), he made a final push by making a new break at the start of the third set. Before concentrating on his service games to close the deal. A job well done.
More info to follow…
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