The BB&T Atlanta Open Semifinals are set for Saturday

An Australian battle would open the day with Alex de Minaur, the 20-year-old rising ATP star facing the impressive and talented 26-year-old Bernard Tomic. The young gun took the advantage about midway in the first set as he used his slice backhand to force Tomic on his backfoot to provoke a forehand error. de Minaur dominated the first set winning 31 out of the 49 points, and scoring 93% of his first-serve points. Tomic ended the first set hitting a double fault and de Minaur snatched the first set 6-2. It was de Minaur once again who took an early lead in the second set. After chasing down two attacks from Tomic, the youngster counterattacked with a beautiful crosscourt forehand winner and took a 3-0 lead. Unfortunately for the fans, the Australian battle was cut short when Tomic retired due to an injury. de Minaur didn’t drop a set en route to the semifinals.

Next up on a progressively hot Atlanta afternoon, Daniel Evans would face the tennis giant Reilly Opelka. The pair held comfortably throughout the first set except when Opelka created two breakpoint opportunities at 4-3 but was unable to convert on either. The set would go to a tiebreaker as Evans would continue to try and use the knifing slice against the 6’11 American. The tiebreak would be back and forth until Opelka would pull away after three-all and go on a run of four straight points to secure the first set. The second set would produce some good points as Opelka would step up on the baseline and hit thunderous forehands to produce attacking tennis. This same style of play allowed him to secure the break at 5-5 in the set. The American would have no problem serving out the match as he finished the day with 23 aces and faced zero break points on serve. This win takes him to a career-high rank near No. 43, and into his second semifinal of 2019 after winning the New York Open.

The match held between Cameron Norrie of Great Britain and Alexei Popyrin of Australia was a two-set match that lasted just over an hour and a half. Norrie was able to break Popyrin’s serve, taking a lead, 6-5. With the first lead of the set, Norrie was able to hold and take the opener, 7-5.

The second set started as Norrie was able to break Popyrin’s serve to win the first game 1-0. Immediately, Popyrin would break Norrie’s serve, tying up the score 1-1. An exchange would happen like this one more time, in which Norrie would break Popyrin to make the score 3-2. The score would reach 4-4, before Norrie would be able to pull ahead and break Popyrin’s serve for the third time in the set, making the score 5-4. Norrie was able to serve for the match, and despite resistance from Popyrin, won the final game of the set, with a final score of 6-4. The games were much longer in this set, with many games reaching deuce and going multiple ads.

Taylor Fritz defeated Miomir Kecmanovic Friday night in straight sets 6-1, 7-6,  and booked his place in the semifinals. Serbian international Kecmanovic, after a magical display last night against Ugo Humbert, struggled with his forehand early and lost many long rallies with Fritz. Fritz won 90% of his first serve points and finished the match with 11 aces. The second set showed a completely different Kecmanovic as the pair went back and forth all the way to a tiebreaker. The momentum seemed to be shifting the Serbian’s way up 4-3 in the second set until Fritz amassed four straight points on three aces and a skillful “tweener” that got the crowd on its feet. A tiebreaker would decide the second set and Kecmanovic looked to be out of gas as Fritz easily won 7-1. Fritz will face Norrie tomorrow night to see who will face the winner of Opelka and De Minaur in the Atlanta final.

RESULTS – JULY 26, 2019

Men’s

Singles – Quarterfinals

[2] T. Fritz (USA) d M. Kecmanovic (SRB) 61 76(1)

[3] A. de Minaur (AUS) d B. Tomic (AUS) 62 30 Retired

R. Opelka (USA) d D. Evans (GBR) 76(3) 75

C. Norrie (GBR) d A. Popyrin (AUS) 75 64

Men’s

Doubles – Quarterfinals

[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d J. Erlich (ISR) / D. Sharan (IND) 64 67(4) 10-7

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019

STADIUM COURT start 12:00 noon

J. Sock (USA) / J. Withrow (USA) vs [2] D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Krajicek (USA)

Not Before 3:00 pm

R. Opelka (USA) vs [3] A. de Minaur (AUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm

C. Norrie (GBR) vs [2] T. Fritz (USA)

[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs [4] R. Albot (MDA) / A. Sitak (NZL)

-Desmond McLennon

Photo: Courtesy of BB&T Atlanta Open

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