“Chaleco Blanco!” Cuevas Keeps a “Clean Sheet”

This is the point of no return: after Philipp Kohlschreiber’s defeat against Rezo Olivo, Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay is the new tournament favourite number one. The current number 25 of the world still hasn’t lost a single set. Also Martin Klizan presents himself with a lot of confidence, while Stephane Robert and Renzo Olivo both had to play three sets.

Pablo Cuevas (URU/3) – Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 7-6, 6-1

The favourite form Uruguay completely fulfilled his role as the favourite. However, before Pablo Cuevas could rejoice after 79 minutes he really had to work very hard – at least in the first set. Both players were very focussed on their serves and only had to fend off break points in one service game. Thus, the tiebreaker was to decide the set, in which Cuevas only converted his fourth set point – and that very spectacularly! Mathieu completely misjudged his opponent’s lob and the ball just hit the line. But the second set developed very clearly. First, the Uruguayan, who completely dominated the match now and hit 31 winners, got up to an early break (2-0) and not much later, at 5-1, the outcome of the set was prematurely decided. Impressive: Cuevas still hasn’t lost a single set or service game. So, he still keeps a clean sheet.

Stephane Robert (FRA) – Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP/8) 7-6, 4-6, 6-3

Today, the 36-year old Frenchman took his revenge for the encounter he lost against his opponent in Estoril last year and sewed up the closest match of the quarters after two and a half hours. In a partly very enthusing match of the two 30-year old players, Robert actually only won five points more than Garcia-Lopes and shone thanks to choosing exactly the right mix in his game. He kept on putting his opponent under pressure with his strong backhand, as well as wisely dropping in some stops. In the end, he visibly enjoyed the standing ovations of the Hamburg crowd. “This was a great fight today and it was also physically very demanding but thanks to my game I was able to finish the points quickly which surely helped me tremendously today,” Robert said after the match.

Renzo Olivo (ARG) – Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER/1) 1-6, 6-0, 7-5

Philipp Kohlschreiber was pushed away from his path into the finals of the German Open 2016 by the Argentinian underdog. A victory against Olivo was actually more or less counted in but after winning the first set 6-1, the player from Augsburg completely lost track. Olivo clinched the second set in only 25 minutes, 6-0, and thus provoked astonishment on the “Centre Court of the World”. In the deciding set, however, the German seemed to be back at his best but couldn’t convert one of his two match points. His 5-3 lead was quickly gone, Olivo won three games in a row against the now quite bewildered number one of the tournament and used his first match point to wrap up the set 7-5. Olivo fell to his knees and hardly believed his victory. In the interview, he even apologized to the spectators for having catapulted the local hero out of the tournament. “I somehow defeated myself. Preferably, I would put down the racket for a while,” said Philipp Kohlschreiber who was obviously very disappointed.

Martin Klizan (SVK/7) – Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 6-4, 6-3

Klizan had the bigger punch against his Spanish opponent who really never gives up. Gimeno-Traver, however, lacked the physical reserves after his marathon match against Daniil Medvedev on Thursday when he even had to throw up on the court. The number 156 of the world especially couldn’t build up any pressure with his serve but was in turn put under quite some pressure by the powerful base line strokes of his Slovak opponent. In total, the 30-year old from Castile lost his serve five times –even two breaks couldn’t save him. 24 hours after his quickie against Louis Wessels, Klizan also made short work of the Spaniard (6-4, 6-3) and booked a place in the semi-final for the third time.