Feb 21, 2023 at 2:16 PMUpdate: 3 minutes ago
Tallon Greek track and Botic van de Zandschulp reached the second round of the ATP tournament in Doha on Tuesday, a week after the ABN AMRO Open in Rotterdam, with a hard-fought victory. Gijs Brouwer booked a nice victory in Marseille.
Greek track played its semi-final match with Jannik Sinner at the ABN AMRO Open last Saturday. The 26-year-old North Hollander lost to the Italian top player after two exciting sets, but thanks to his excellent week in Rotterdam he rose to the fortieth position in the world ranking. That’s his highest place ever.
In Doha, the Greek track continued its good form by beating Frenchman Quentin Halys: 7-6 (4), 4-6 and 7-6 (4). The number two in the Netherlands gave little away in the first set and peaked in the tiebreak. In the second company he was broken for the first time at 1-1 and missed two break points at 4-5 to get back into the set.
In the third set, Greek track and Halys also turned out to be very evenly matched and a tiebreak had to make the decision. The Dutchman was again slightly better with two minibreaks and decided the match in his favor after almost 2.5 hours.
Greek track will compete in the second round against Andrey Rublev, who is seeded first in Doha. The Russian number five in the world was already eliminated in the first round in Rotterdam last week by Australian Alex de Minaur.
So far, the Greek track is having an excellent season. The Dutchman conquered his first ATP title in India, achieved his best result ever at the Australian Open (third round) and, thanks to a number of fine victories, was the first Dutchman since Igor Sijsling in 2014 to reach the last four at the ABN AMRO Open.
Tallon Grepes was still in the semifinals of the ABN AMRO Open on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
Battered Van de Zandschulp inspires confidence
Van de Zandschulp also showed his good side in Qatar on Tuesday by beating Belarusian Ilya Ivashka 6-2 and 7-5. The Veenendaler hopes to pick up the thread again in Doha after a difficult start to his season. At the ABN AMRO Open last week he had no chance in the second round against the later tournament winner Daniil Medvedev.
In the first set of his match in Doha against Ivashka, the number 79 in the world, Van de Zandschulp showed glimpses of his top form again. The world number 34 quickly ran away from his Belarusian opponent with two breaks in the first, who vented his frustrations by hitting his racket to the philistines.
After a strong first set, Van de Zandschulp was again in turmoil in the second set. The Veenendaler placed two breaks, but was also broken twice. He also had problems with his upper leg again, but was able to continue after a medical time-out. After a third break at 5-5, Van de Zandschulp served out the game after all.
The upper leg complaints are cause for concern for the Dutchman. Van de Zandschulp tore a muscle in his upper leg last month and therefore had to miss the Davis Cup match with Slovakia. If he is fit enough, he will face the Georgian lucky loser Nikoloz Basilashvili (ATP-113) or the French qualifier Alexandre Muller (ATP-170) in the second round.
Brouwer reached the second round at the ATP tournament in Marseille. The surprising quarter-finalist of the ABN AMRO Open showed resilience in France against the Swede Elias Ymer: 4-6, 7-5 and 6-3. Brouwer, who made his breakthrough last year by reaching the second round of the US Open as a qualifier, now faces a duel with Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
Despite thigh complaints, Botic van de Zandschulp qualified for the second round in Doha. Photo: ANP
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