Gaston saves four match points to reach Gstaad semis with top seed Ruud

By Sports Desk July 23, 2021

Hugo Gaston showed admirable spirit as the young Frenchman saved four match points in a gripping tie-break against Cristian Garin en route to reaching his first ATP Tour semi-final.

Garin, the fourth seed, responded impressively to going a set down and then got to match point four times in their third-set tie-break, but he could not hold his nerve and Gaston got the job done 6-4 1-6 7-6 (13-11).

The Chilean was on the back foot right from the start Gaston broke him in the first game, and although Garin did hit back to make it 3-3, his opponent quickly had the advantage again and went on to seal the first set.

Garin's response was emphatic and clinical, dropping just three points on his serve and taking both of the break points that came his way to level the match.

The pair could not be separated in a back-and-forth third set, but Garin was the first to get match point at 6-5 in the tie-break – they would trade another six equally between them before Gaston finally prevailed at 13-11, leaving the 20-year-old satisfied.

"I am very happy to be in my first [ATP Tour] semi-final," Gaston said after.

"It was a great fight. It was a really long match. I always tried to play my game, and it is a good win for me. I hope I can continue like that."

Up next for Gaston will be Laslo Djere after he saw off Arthur Rinderknech 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4, while Casper Ruud – the highest seed remaining – is also into the final four.

The Norwegian was victorious at the Swedish Open last week, his second title of the year, and dispatched Benoit Paire on Friday to reach another semi.

Ruud won 6-2 5-7 6-3 in just under two hours and will face Vit Kopriva, a qualifier, who secured his first semi-final appearance thanks to a stunning 6-1 6-0 win over Mikael Ymer.

At the Croatia Open in Umag, top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas cruised into the last four with a straightforward 6-2 6-1 defeat of Stefano Travaglia, setting up a meeting with either Filip Krajinovic or Carlos Alcaraz.

The other semi will be contested between Richard Gasquet and Daniel Altmaier, who produced something of a shock by ousting second seed Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-4.

The veteran Frenchman came through against Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-6 (9-7), clinching the second set at the fourth opportunity.

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    He was immediately on the back foot, though, dropping serve in the opening game against the stylish Italian and swiftly losing the opening set.

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    “And then even going into this match today, I was thinking I’ve won more matches than Musetti this year, I’ve won bigger matches than him. I think I’m playing better than him on the clay. I was really confident going into it.”

    Norrie will now head back to London and turn his attention to the grass-court swing a year on from his run to the Wimbledon semi-finals.

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