ATP Rotterdam: Simon Silences The Rotterdam Crowd

ATP Rotterdam: Simon Silences The Rotterdam Crowd

Former semifinalist Gilles Simon overcomes a slow start a poor start to silence the Rotterdam crowd after defeating Robin Haase in straight sets.

james-froud
James Froud

Day Three at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam featured some entertaining matches, with half of the eight singles matches going the distance.

Chardy Saves A Match Point To Defeat The Spirited Donskoy

Jeremy Chardy took advantage of Richard Gasquet pulling out of the event, by winning a thriller over lucky loser Evgeny Donskoy, who missed out on the win after wasting a match point in the third set tiebreak.

The pair could not be separated in the entire first set, and that meant it was going to be decided in a tiebreaker. Both players had chances to win the first set in the breaker before Donskoy pounced upon his second opportunity to take the lead. The pattern of the first continued into the second, until Chardy secured the first break of the match, at the second attempt, serving to level the match up in the very next game. He broke immediately in the decider, but Donskoy registered his first break of the match to level at 1-1. Neither player could create even a break point chance on the other’s serve, so the match headed into an exciting conclusion. The Russian Donskoy, initially saved two match points, including one on a return, but when he earned his winning moment, he failed to deliver the goods, losing the next three points to give Chardy the victory; the Frenchman winning 6-7(9), 6-4, 7-6(8).

Simon Recovers From A Slow Start To Defeat Home Favourite Haase

Haase departs after defeat to Simon
Haase departs after defeat to Simon (Getty Images - Koen Suyk)   

Third seed Gilles Simon got his 2016 Rotterdam challenge underway, by defeating Robin Haase in straight sets, after a very up-and-down first set.

The Frenchman had actually started the match superbly, breaking in the first game of the match at the very first opportunity. He was then broken twice in succession, to likely give Haase the opening set. Haase had another break point chance in the next return game, but crucially missed out, meaning he would have to serve the set out. At 40-30/set point up, it looked as though the Dutch crowd were going to get their wish of a first set lead for Haase, but Simon had other ideas, saving the set point before going on to break by capitalising on his third chance.

The player who had won the first set in the pair’s four previous meetings had gone on to win in straight sets, so Haase had it all to do early in the second. He registered a break point opportunity in the very first game of the set, but misses out on securing an early advantage, going on to having his own serve broken in the very next game. If that made the task ahead even harder, then being broken for a second time in the set was never going to help, and another break of serve for Simon was enough for the three-time semi-finalist to register a 7-6(5), 6-1 victory. As for Haase, it is now six appearances at his home event without a win, dating back to 2008 when he reached the quarterfinals.

Elsewhere…

Recent Sofia finalists Roberto Bautista Agut and Viktor Troicki, both came through tough three set matches to reach the second round. The Sofia champion, Bautista Agut, won the opening match of the day against Joao Sousa, to register his first victory over the Portuguese player. Troicki overcame a set deficit to defeat qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov, and set up a second round meeting with the rising Hyeon Chung. In the final match of the day, Gael Monfils recorded victory over future star Borna Coric, in a match that went three sets and lasted just under two hours.

Alexander Zverev defeated Vasek Pospisil (Getty Images - Koen Suyk)
Alexander Zverev defeated Vasek Pospisil (Getty Images - Koen Suyk)   

Elsewhere there were wins for two German players, with Philipp Kohlschreiber overcoming Ivan Dodig, and Alexander Zverev defeating Vasek Pospisil. Dodig put the disappointment behind him by joining forces with regular partner Marcelo Melo, to defeat Jesse Huta Galung and Bart Van Den Berg.

Day Four Preview

Five quarterfinal places in the singles draw will be determined on day four in Rotterdam, with Nicolas Mahut scheduled to play in two matches due to his participation in both draws. His doubles match with partner Vasek Pospisil is the only match due to take place on Court One, with Centre Court hosting six matches. Mahut’s singles match opens up play for the day, as he looks to overcome fellow Frechman Jeremy Chardy. Hyeon Chung looks to build on his impressive victory against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, as he takes on Viktor Troicki. Bautista Agut concludes the singles action in the day, with a doubles clash featuring Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo bringing an end to it.

Marcos Baghdatis meets Martin Klizan for the first-time in the evening session, with Gilles Simon ending the day’s play against German youngster Alexander Zverev.

Day Four Order Of Play

Centre Court – 11:00am

Jeremy Chardy – Nicolas Mahut

Hyeon Chung – Viktor Troicki (2)

Jiri Vesely – Roberto Bautista Agut (6)

Henri Kontinen / John Peers – Ivan Dodig / Marcelo Melo (2)

NOT BEFORE 7:30pm

Marcos Baghdatis – Martin Klizan

Alexander Zverev – Robin Haase OR Gilles Simon (3)

Court One – 2:00am

Nicolas Mahut / Vasek Pospisil – Rohan Bopanna / Florin Mergea (4)

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