Hamburg is a tournament with a rich history in tennis but a love hate relationship with the ATP. It was relegated to a 500 point event from a 1000 and is weirdly positioned to take place after both the grass and clay court season ends. Its courts saw the stabbing of Monica Seles 28 years ago as well as Roger Federer first Masters 1000 victory in 2002.This years’ tournament was devoid of star power once again except maybe for a few players notably Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final at Roland Garros. Seeded first in Hamburg he lost this one against sixth seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia in three sets in the quarter finals on Friday. He went straight off the blocks breaking straight away to lead 3-0 in the first, that backhand so dominant in Paris on show again here. Lets pick up play in the second set at 2-1(30-15). The tide in the match was turning in favor of the Serb. The short forehand cross court by Stefanos nowhere near the baseline, Filip gobbling it up with ease. Check out the way Stefanos catches the ball with his racquet. Instead of going through the ball, the Greek hits it in a scooping motion which doesn’t add speed at all to the shot.
The net play was great and entertaining. Check out 4-1 Filip first point. If I was Filip I would go to the right side of the court with the initial volley, where Tsitsipas had left the bigger gap.KRAJINOVIC DOMINANT IN THAT SECOND SET taking it 6-1. He continued in that vein in the deciding set. Not too many people can outplay Stefanos in the ground strokes game on clay this season but Filip did just that. Check out 2-1(15-0). Stefanos’s serve was better though, he served 11 Aces and 74% of his serves were good on the first time of asking. He got an interesting service motion. Check out 5-3(ADV Krajinovic). He tosses the ball , pulls the head to the side and hits the ball at a relatively lowly level of height. Makes the opponent play the defensive shot more often than not like in this point. Tsitsipas however shot the forehand long under no pressure to hand the victory to the Serb. Krajinovic will face compatriot Laslo Dere in the semis with Dederico Delbonis of Argentina will face second seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.