Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

3-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka is back in top form: he defeated number one seed Kei Nishikori in a thrilling 3-set match to advance to the Rotterdam final. Nishikori was bidding to reach his second final of the season, following his victory in Brisbane last month.

Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

Kei Nishikori, Rotterdam 2019

The Swiss had beaten his friend Benoît Paire and then Canadians Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov to reach the last 4. It will be his second Rotterdam final – he claimed the title here in 2015 defeating Tomas Berdych – his first final since his loss to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros 2017.

Denis Shapovalov, Rotterdam 2019

In the other semifinal Gael Monfils took his revenge over Daniil Medvedev, who had took the better of him in the semifinals of the Sofia Open last week. Like Wawrinka, Monfils will play his second Rotterdam final – he lost to Martin Klizan in 2016, and his 29th overall. The Frenchman has a terrible record, having only won 7 out of 28 finals (16 out of 28 for the Swiss).

Photo credit: Marianne Bevis

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rotterdam 2019

A few weeks ago he defeated Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and later advanced to the semifinals where he was ousted by Rafael Nadal:

Australian Open Tennis 2019 - Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Roger Federer

Australian Open Tennis 2019 - Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Roger Federer

Australian Open Tennis 2019 - Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Roger Federer

But today Stefanos Tsitsipas lost to world number 56 Damir Dzumhur – who had not won a match this year – in the first round of the Rotterdam tournament. Dzumhur will meet Mikhail Kukushkin for a place in the quarter-finals against Gael Monfils. The Frenchman booked his place in the last eight with a 3-set win over Andreas Seppi.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rotterdam 2019

In the other matches today, recent Sofia Open champion Daniil Medvedev, who turned 23 on Monday, defeated Jérémy Chardy, while Stan Wawrinka secured his place in the quarterfinals with a straight set win over Milos Raonic.

Daniil Medvedev, Rotterdam 2019

Stan Wawrinka, Rotterdam 2019

Photo credit: Andrew Robertson, Marianne Bevis

Read more:
Rotterdam 2018: the title and the number one ranking for Roger Federer
Rotterdam 2017: lucky 13 for Tsonga

Daniil Medvedev, winner of the Sofia Open 2019

“I want to win. Every tournament I play I want to win. I’m happy with my performance and happy with my game right now.”

Runner-up in Brisbane, winner in Sofia, Daniil Medvedev is one of the player to follow. He defeated Robin Haase, Martin Klizan, Gael Monfils and Marton Fucsovics en route to the Sofia title, his fourth overall, all won on hard courts. For sure, he’s not the best-known NextGen player, but he’s in constant progress and about to break into the Top 10.

Marton Fucsovics advanced to his second ATP Tour final by beating Andreas Seppi, Yannick Maden, and Matteo Berrettini – he benefited from Bautista Agut’s forfeit in the quarter-finals. Fucsovics triumphed in Geneva last year to become the first male Hungarian player to win an ATP title since Balazs Taroczy in 1982.

Mirza Basic was the defending champion,  but lost to Martin Klizan in the first round. Number one seed Karen Khachanov lost to Matteo Berrettini in the second round. Number two seed and recent Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas was beaten in straight sets in the quarter-finals by a resurgent Gael Monfils.

Daniil Medvedev

Márton Fucsovics

Daniil Medvedev

Nikola Mektic and Jurgen Melzer defeated Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Christopher Rungkat to win their first team title. It was only their third tournament as a duo.

Nikola Mektić, Jürgen Melzer, Christopher Rungkat and Cheng-Peng Hsieh

Nikola Mektić and Jürgen Melzer

Thanks to Yulian Todorov for the pictures.

Richard Gasquet, Roland Garros 2018

For the first time since 2007, there will be no French male player in the fourth round at Roland Garros.
If Richard Gasquet (defeated by Nadal) and Pierre-Hugues Herbert (beaten by Isner) have nothing to reproach themselves with, Gaël Monfils can have many regrets: he wasted four match points in his loss to David Goffin. As for Lucas Pouille (outplayed by Khachanov), he keeps saying again and again he trains to win a Grand Slam one day, but he’s far far away from that goal.

But that fiasco is not really surprising: the new Mousquetaires (Gasquet, Monfils, Simon, Tsonga) are all over 30 now and have their careers behind. Pouille has good results in ATP 250 and ATP 500 tournaments, but struggles at higher level.

Last time a French player won the tournament was 35 years ago, last time a French reached the final was 30 years ago, I guess we’ll have to wait many years to see that happen again.

All French hopes rest on the shoulders of the last Frenchwoman standing: Caroline Garcia. Last time a Frenchwoman won the tile? Mary Pierce in 2000.

Read also:
Roland Garros 1983: Yannick Noah defeats Mats Wilander
Roland Garros 1988: bold Leconte swept aside by a Mats for all surfaces
Roland Garros 2000: Pierce finds peace and glory

David Goffin Roland Garros outfit

David Goffin and Gaël Monfils share the same clothing sponsor but not the same expectations for the upcoming Roland Garros. Goffin reached the semifinals in Barcelona and quarterfinals in Monte Carlo and Rome, while Monfils’ best result during the clay season remains a second round in Madrid. How far do you think they can go at Roland Garros?

David Goffin Roland Garros outfit

Gael Monfils Roland Garros outfit

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