LONDON, HALLE WESTFALEN: Marin Cilic advanced to the last eight of the Queen’s grass court tournament on Wednesday with a 7-6 (8/6) 7-5 victory over Alexander Bublik.
This event serves as a warm-up for Wimbledon where Croatian Cilic went all the way to the final in 2017 before losing to Roger Federer in straight sets.
Cilic, 33, has been in good form lately, advancing to the last four at Roland Garros this season before losing to Casper Ruud.
But last year’s Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov was beaten in the first round at Queen’s on Wednesday, with the sixth seed losing in three sets to Tommy Paul of the United States.
Paul took the first set 6-4 only for Shapovalov to equalize taking the second set 6-2.
But Paul kept his composure to win the decider 6-4.
Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori beat Britain’s Jack Draper 6-2, 7-6 (7/2) to advance to the quarter-finals.
World No. 56 Ruusuvuori was in fine form, hitting 29 winners while forcing nine break points.
Defending champion Matteo Berrettini and three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka will look to join Cilic and Ruusuvuori in the last eight when they face Denis Kudla and world No. 35 Paul on Thursday.
With no points at Wimbledon this summer, due to the All England Club’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian competitors following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Queen’s Club event is one of last opportunities for players to improve their ranking before the tough court season.
No sweat as impressive Kyrgios sees off Tsitsipas
Nick Kyrgios rallied impressively past Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Halle grass court tournament on Wednesday to hammer home his status as a Wimbledon threat, but only after a spat with the chair umpire over sweat.
Kyrgios beat world number 6 Tsitsipas 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 to reach a second straight quarter-final after also playing in the last eight in Stuttgart five days ago.
The 27-year-old broke his racquet after losing the opener after saving three set points.
He then had a minor spat with the chair umpire in the third game of the second set, landing with a time-loss warning.
“He said I was playing too slow – statistically I’m one of the fastest,” Kyrgios said.
“I had to walk the sidelines to get my towel, there’s this thing called 30 degree Celsius sweat running down your hands.
“I needed to wipe my hands and he gave me a warning.”
Kyrgios immediately sat down mid-game on his bench and beat the point with the chair before returning to the pitch to cheers.
“The support I get from crowds all over the world is amazing. They want me to come out and put on a show,” he said.
Kyrgios called what he saw as a frivolous warning an “unnecessary part of the game”. It is not necessary in a crowded stadium.
“Later I hit two aces just to prove my point.”
Kyrgios, who has played just five events this season outside of Australia, said he was proud to win on his own terms – without a coach and playing only when it suited him – while maintaining his ranking at his current 65th rank.
“There needs to be more grass events for sure, I’ve been talking about it for ages,” he said after beating second seed Greece while saving seven of eight break points in just over two hours.
“If we had six grass-court tournaments in Australia, I would never leave the country.”
Kyrgios will play a quarter-final on Friday against Pablo Carreno Busta after the Spanish sixth seed beat Sebastian Korda 6-4, 0-6, 6-3.
The Australian said his lack of a massive work ethic in tennis actually helps his game.
“If I can beat some of the best players in the world and play at this level with as few events as I play, I’m pretty happy.
“I have a lot of people I play for at home and they all want me to keep winning games like this. It just proves that you can do anything your way.