Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Eastbourne International: Tommy Paul overcomes Wolf in all-American clash to reach semis

Tommy Paul outwitted J.J. Wolf in a high-quality match between two Americans at the Eastbourne International tennis tournament, advancing to his third semifinal of 2023 with a three sets victory here.

Paul, the second-seeded American, a semifinalist at the Australian Open and a finalist in Acapulco, edged his countryman 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(2) here on Thursday night to improve to 3-2 this season in tour-level quarterfinals. He will continue his bid for his first title of the year against Frenchman Gregoire Barrere in the semis.

Paul and Wolf split six breaks of serve before the pair’s first ATP Tour meeting was ultimately decided by Paul’s 5/0 start to the decisive tie-break.

His next opponent Barrere reached the semifinals after his 7-5, 7-6(2) victory against eighth seed Miomir Kecmanovic earlier in the day. The 29-year-old, who is through to his first ATP Tour semifinal, broke serve five times in 12 chances against the Serbian.

Fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo advanced to his first tour-level semi-final on grass Thursday with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Zhang Zhizhen.

Cerundolo is pursuing his first ATP Tour title of the season and second overall. All three of his previous tour-level finals, including one earlier this year in Lyon, have come on clay, according to a report on the ATP Tour website.

But the Argentine is starting to look more comfortable on the grass. Entering the week, he owned a 2-4 tour-level record on the surface. That has not shown in his two matches at the ATP 250 event, where he has made the last four without losing a set, converting all four of the break points he earned against Zhang to advance after 69 minutes.

Next up for Cerundolo is a semifinal showdown with Mackenzie McDonald, who beat Mikael Ymer 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. McDonald’s win backed up his upset of World No. 9 Taylor Fritz on Wednesday, the third Top 10 win of his career.

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