All finalists known at ATP 250 Astana Open

31.10.2020    Views: 1069
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Author: Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan
In the first semi-final at the Astana Open, the fourth seed of the tournament, Australian John Millman and Frances Tiafoe from the United States met

Millman – Tiafoe

In the first semi-final at the Astana Open, the fourth seed of the tournament, Australian John Millman and Frances Tiafoe from the United States met.
World's No. 45 John Millman on the way to the semifinals defeated Fernando Verdasco in 1/8, and the day before in the match against Tommy Paul scored a victory, making an incredible comeback from the score 0: 5 in the tiebreak of the third set.
World's No. 64 Frances Tiafoe, in turn, recorded victories over Korenten Moutet, second-seeded Miomir Kecmanovic and Yegor Gerassimov, against whom the American played three difficult sets yesterday.



In face-to-face meetings before this semi-final, John Millman had the advantage, but the last match between them at this year's US Open ended with a five-set victory for Frances Tiafoe.

The semifinal match between Tiafoe and Millman in Nur-Sultan began in confident games on their serves in the performance of both players. Tiafoe began to attack more aggressively with Millman's second serve in the fifth game, and losing 0: 40, reached the breakpoint, but here the Australian did not allow him to lead the score. Millman continued to experience problems on his serve throughout the set, which eventually allowed Tiafoe to make the first break in the set. Millman had every chance to immediately make a return break, but Tiafoe perfectly felt the ball at the end of the game, and Millman could not stand the pace imposed by the American and eventually gave the opponent another game on his serve. The set was left for Frances Tiafoe.

At the beginning of the second game, John Millman forced the opponent around the edges with spinning balls, Frances Tiafoe responded with precise counterattacks, both semi-finalists kept the games on their serve. This time, the Australian was the first to get to the breakpoints with the score 2:2, but here Tiafoe was on top: he loaded the opponent deeply from the back line and accurately shortened it, forcing him to make mistakes. Frances in the next game, too, without much participation of the opponent made mistakes from the forehand, but whitewashed on his serve. Millman at the end of the game increased the pressure on the American, and with the score 4:4 with the second attempt implemented a breakpoint. Now he took the advantage, not giving Tiafoe a break and evened the score in sets.

In the deciding set, Frances Tiafoe managed to make an early break and led 2-0, while Millman did not win a single goal in the game on his serve, and did not realize his breakpoint in the next game. The Australian managed to regain concentration on the serve, pick up a quick game, and then make a return break, taking advantage of the decline in the game of Tiafoe. Long rallies remained mostly for Millman. Tiafoe looked tired, made unforgivable mistakes on his serve, and the Australian converted a breakpoint at the fourth attempt. The American did not have enough strength to continue the fight, John Milmann broke the set, the match and got the first ticket to the Finals of the Astana Open: 3:6, 6:4, 6:4.

- I really like it here and I would like to extend my stay in Nur-Sultan. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the hosts who made this tournament possible. The only pity is that there are no people in the stands. Of course, this is all because of the pandemic. I really hope that the tournament will become permanent in the ATP calendar and I will definitely return here,  - John Millman said in an interview

Ruusuvuori-Mannarino

The second finalist was determined in a match between the third seed, French tennis player Adrian Mannarino and the young representative of Finland Emil Ruusuvuori, who qualified for the semifinals.
These tennis players had never met in official matches before the Astana Open. In Nur-Sultan world's No. 39 Adrian Mannarino won in ties against Yuichi Sugita and Mackenzie McDonald. Emil Ruusuvuori's opponents in the main draw of the tournament were John Thompson (in the 1/8 final) and Kazakhstani tennis players: Timofey Skatov (in 1/16), Mikhail Kukushkin (in the quarterfinals).



In the semifinal match in the capital of Kazakhstan, Emil Ruusuvuori immediately began to play with tight sharp strokes, but Adrian Mannarino dampened the speed of the ball, recapturing the initiative. The Frenchman made a break in the first game. Ruusuvuori added in the fourth game, forced the opponent to make mistakes in the draws on his serve and leveled the score. In the middle of the game, the Finn began to pass aces, which added confidence to the 21-year-old qualifier. Mannarino had the advantage in long rallies and reached almost all the balls that Ruusuvuori directed at the corners. When the score was 5:5, wrongful mistakes did not allow Emil to lead in the score. Adrian Mannarino didn't miss his chance to take the set.



At the beginning of the second game, Emil Ruusuvuori again failed to pick up a game on his serve. Finn's attempts to sharpen the game in contrast to Mannarino's stable game often ended in mistakes. Ruusuvuori's serving went worse than in the first game, and by double fault he helped his opponent to make another break. After that, the young player could not cope with emotions, 100% winning strokes were going out, but nevertheless found the strength to prevent the Frenchman from finishing the game with the first match point. Mannarino served for the match, and without the right to make a mistake, Ruusuvuori played much more accurately, finally diversified the rally with a good shortened one. But Adrian Mannarino did not want to delay the end of the game, and pressed the opponent in the semifinals: 7:5, 6:2.

- My opponent controlled the course of the match at the beginning, but I succeeded. I played consistently, but I'll have to work on my first serve. I've played with John Millman a few times, he's a great friend and I'll be happy to play against him in the final tomorrow, -  Adrian Mannarino said after the match.

In doubles, Belgium's Sander Gillet and Joran Fliegen reached the Final of the Astana Open, beating Marcelo Arevalo of Ecuador and Tomislav Brkic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the Final, they will face Australians Ma Purcell and Luke Saville, who stopped the international team of Ben McLachlan of Japan and Franco Skugor of Croatia.

It is the first time the ATP 250 series tournament is hosted in Kazakhstan. Spectarors are not allowed during the matches due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Beeline is the General Sponsor of the tournament.
Sponsors: Forte Bank and Mastercard.
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Information partners: Qazaqstan, Qazsport, Setanta, Zakon.kz, Informburo, Channel 31, Forbes.kz, Business FM.  

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