B. Coric b.  H. Hurkacz 6-4 6-7 (2) 7-6 (5)
Another marathon for Coric who wins the semifinal after winning his third match in the third set here in Vienna. The Croatian is good and lucky to get over Hurkacz at the last breath
Third match between the Croatian and the Polish, with the precedents speaking of a victory for each side. The Pole is in full tussle in the race for the ATP Finals, while Coric arrives with skyrocketing morale after the victory last night with Tsitsipas. It will be interesting to see who wins between Coric’s response and Hurkacz’s serve, who arrives at this match with a very hot arm, 49 aces in two games. Really quite a lot, even for an indoor tournament like Vienna.
Match that begins with the Pole serving, with the first emotions coming in the third game: Coric takes out the instinct of a goalkeeper and manages to defuse the Pole’s serve and start the exchanges; his trademark takes care of the rest, the backhand along the line, with which he builds an opportunity to break, which he transforms thanks to a mistake by Hurkacz in the maneuver. Good start for the Croatian who manages to impact very well in response, not settling for blocked answers, but immediately trying to put the Pole in difficulty. Hurkacz feels the blow and in the following games of Coric never really manages to worry the Croatian and Hubi is left with a dry mouth. At the partial end in particular, the figure of the break points stands out: only 1, transformed, by Coric; Hurkacz, on the other hand, never even manages to sniff out the hypothesis of the break. Set that slips away placidly in favor of the Croatian.
Second set that continues on the tracks of an extreme balance, in which services are by far the masters and you don’t see the shadow of a break ball. To see a first jolt you have to wait for the sixth game where the Pole finally manages to bring the game to the advantage, but Coric is good at pushing hard on the second serve to prevent the Pole from entering. In short, the match is stingy with emotions and so you have to wrap the tape in the ninth game, in which Coric has a chance in power, going up to 0-30, but Hubi shows everyone why the serve is the best shot of him; 4 aces in a row, and Coric can only spread his arms and sit on the bench to change sides; on 5-4 Hurkacz, the Pole gets up to set point, but fails to materialize. Once the occasion has disappeared, the rest of the set has little to tell and so we arrive – rightly – at the tie break. In the decisive game few emotions and many mistakes: in particular on 4-2 Coric commits a Fantozziano mistake on a high forehand volley that does not even reach the net. Hurkacz set.
So we go to the third set, in the hope that the match will finally find a bit of panache. And perhaps the hope is not in vain, as finally Hurkacz with an aggressive and clean tennis obtains not one, but even two break points, double what he managed to do in the whole match. But even in this case Coric holds out and saves his immaculate score at the service. This start of the third set is clearly of the Polish brand, but by hook or by crook Coric manages to save himself even in the third game, saving the fourth break point of the match. But the real problem for Coric could be shoulder fatigue; at the change of court the Croatian calls a medical timeout just to make sure of the condition of the battered joint. Borna has said several times that his problem now is trying to preserve his injured shoulder, and the fact that this is already the third game in the third set certainly doesn’t help. In any case, the Croatian feels like pushing and the third set continues according to the script of the services. But just when everything seems written and the match is dragging itself to the tie break Hurkacz loses the autopilot on the serve and gives a half chance to Coric who arrives two points from the match and the third point of the game is played with a second; here the Pole is good at getting to the net and parrying Coric’s attempts; in short, it is only a small empty pass, with the Pole who then pulls down the 27th ace of the match and goes to the tie break.
Final rush in which the first to put his head forward is Hurkacz, but Coric immediately comes back with a great backhand response on a first from the Pole at 204 km / h, and catches his opponent in no man’s land forcing him to make a mistake; the Croatian then with a short-haired demivolée goes to lead 5-3, but Hubi is not there and nails a backhand long line that leaves Borna stationary. Coric, however, does not give up and finds a winning answer with a straight half fence for the 6-5; fate has clearly taken a stand and the Croatian does not miss the chance to close the match. Extremely tight game, in which Coric has the merit of gritting his teeth in the third set, where he was clearly suffering, even canceling 3 break points which given the state of grace of the Pole’s serve would have been deadly.
D. Shapovalov b. D. Evans 6-3 6-3
An overflowing Shapovalov makes his match with Evans his own and is a serious candidate for a place in the final. The Canadian showed great tennis today and if he can keep this form tomorrow Coric will need a feat.
In the last quarter-final scheduled today in Vienna Denis Shapovalov and Daniel Evans, the current number 2 of Canada and Great Britain, clash. The day had started well, with a good match between Dimitrov and Giron. But then Sinner’s lackluster performance and Coric’s marathon tried. Luckily he ends with a flourish with some sparkling tennis. Certainly neither Evans and Shapovalov fall into the category of palletizers. The head-to-head clashes speak of a 2-1 forward Evans, who at 32 is the oldest of the 8 players left in the race and is on the hunt for his fourth ATP semi-final for 2022. Shapovalov, on the other hand, arrives confidently in this match, on the stock of a performance that has become more solid in recent times: the boy originally from Tel Aviv in fact from Cincinnati onwards has always reached at least the quarter-finals of the tournaments played, or has been defeated by a top player like Rublev or Medvedev. It could therefore be the right opportunity for Shapo to crown the season with a prestigious result, right here in Vienna, considering that the winner will face Coric in the semifinals.
But space for the news; first set in which Shapo leaves shot like a train, a little as against Fritz and immediately goes up 2-0 without a shot being hurt. Evans, however, knows perfectly well that the Canadian is not a killer and that sooner or later he grants some space and remains clinging to his nails and teeth. In the third game of the first set there is everything you need to know about the Tel Aviv native. A game of genius and recklessness, in which it is easy to understand how the Canadian is a cross and a delight for many fans. Game that ends with a short ball that dies on the tape after 25 say 25 points. We are in the third game and the beauty of 26 minutes has already passed. Evans, however, is commendable and even gets to play a couple of break points, thanks to the help of Shapovalov who gets nervous and commits two double faults; the Canadian is quite angry and on the net there is a reconciliation between the two, perhaps due to a few words too many from someone in the corner of Evans. In other times this would have been the fuse that would have derailed the Canadian, but not today. A couple of straight wins and the Canadian clears things up and keeps the serve. In the next game then, after yet another marathon of wasted opportunities, the Canadian again breaks Evans’ serve, who has to bow and yield the first fraction 6-3.
The hail of winners to which the Briton is subjected in the first set is impressive; 20 winners in all, and they’re not all aces like Hurkacz!
Another thing that you can see is how the Canadian prefers straight line and inside in solutions, often and willingly placed near the lines. Another reason why it is always a good idea to stay hooked to the Canadian is due to the fact that Denis always risks it and the balance on which his game runs is always very tight.
Second set in which Evans realizes that if he keeps playing with his classic backhand backs he’s not going anywhere; which is why he starts the fraction with a strong will and immediately climbs to the break point; the Briton shows excellent tennis, as in the point that leads him to 30-40, in continuous push, and judicious closing at the net. But today Shapo is beautifully centered and immediately cancels relying on the forehand. The Canadian finds his way out of the narrow escape and gets another handful of break points, but as usual the boy doesn’t finish; we need to get to the sixth attempt to see Denis finally close the game with a nice stop volley. The Canadian runs away at 4-1 and in the sixth game a new ordeal for Evans who goes under 0-40 for the umpteenth time. The only solution for the British seems to be to throw himself into the net so as not to fall prey to Shapo’s burning accelerations. It must be said that Evans gives it his all and goes to take the point with valuable solutions to the net; and so for the umpteenth time Evans gets away with Shapovalov who now needs the abacus to count the missed opportunities. At this point in the match we are at 13 dilapidated break points. The problem for Evans, however, is that on his serve the Canadian is untouchable and the finish line is approaching. At 5-3 Shapo goes to serve and in order not to miss anything he closes the match with a flourish with 3 aces. In the second set another 20 winners for Shapovalov, who distributes his winners more evenly and with wider margins.
Absolutely dominant match by Shapovalov who tomorrow will cross the racket with Coric for a place in the final. Below we report tomorrow’s program here in Vienna.