The semifinal field at the Swiss Indoors is now set, with a couple of surprises and a couple of expected participants. The top two seeds missed the cut, but the numbers three and four will look to book their places in the final, while two lower-ranked opponents will try to continue to upset the established order. Here’s what happened in the quarterfinals in Basel on Friday.
Right from the opening game, top seed and last Swiss standing Stan Wawrinka was not his usual baseline-bashing self, struggling to keep the ball in the court. He failed to find a solution over three sets and found himself sent packing from his home nation’s biggest tournament at the hands of Mischa Zverev. Full credit to the German, he was flawless, dominating on serve and doing everything in his power to keep the US Open champion from building any kind of rhythm. Check out the full recap here.
Kei Nishikori scored his first victory in five attempts against the resurgent Juan Martin del Potro in their blockbuster quarterfinal clash. The Japanese was relentless in his assault on the Argentine’s backhand from the very start of the match. The tactic prevented del Potro from attacking with his ferocious forehand and the tactic payed dividends for the third seed, who scored the 7-5, 6-4 victory. Check out the full recap here.
Fourth seed Marin Cilic is a win away from moving into a qualification spot for the ATP World Tour Finals after knocking off Marcel Granollers in the quarterfinals of Basel. The Croatian got off to quick starts in both sets, breaking in his first return games each time. Cilic was at his big serving best throughout the match, giving Granollers no chances to get back into the match. He did not face a single break point in the match and was never even pushed to deuce. In the end, Cilic added a third break in the final game to wrap up the 6-3, 6-3 victory.
Gilles Muller booked his spot in the final four after a nearly-three-hour tussle with Federico Delbonis. In an incredibly tight match, Muller hung on to narrowly edge the Argentine in a final set tiebreak, claiming victory 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(3). There was next to nothing between the two men in the opening set, with Muller missing a couple of break points. After generally being outplayed, it was Delbonis who wrapped up the opener by dominating the tiebreak. Midway through the second set, Muller finally managed a breakthrough and rode his own powerful serve to level the match. Late in the final set, the dominant serving disappeared. Delbonis broke first to give himself a chance to serve out the match at 5-3, only for Muller to break right back. Then Muller broke and tried to serve out the match himself, only to be broken. The set required a tiebreak, which the man from Luxembourg dominated to advance.
The semifinals will take place tomorrow with Cilic taking on Zverev, while Nishikori duels Muller.