Tennis Predictions & Stats,

February 3,2023

Del Potro to play Dimitrov in Rotterdam semi-final

Juan Martin Del Potro is through to the semi finals in Rotterdam after a convincing straight sets victory over Jarkko Nieminen 6-3 6-4 . The Finn is always a tricky customer indoors but couldn’t make a breakthrough against his more illustrious opponent. Del Potro served 10 aces in a strong serving performance and saved all three break points in the match.

An early break was enough for Del Potro who took the advantage in the third game of the match, and he would break once more at the end of the set as the Finn could not hold his nerve serving to stay in it. Break points were more common in the second set, with each player missing opportunities in the first two service games of the set.

Del Potro saved two more in game five and would tighten up on serve after that, dropping just two points in the next two service games. Serving to stay in the match at *4-5, Nieminen would once again buckle under pressure, being broken on the second match point in the game after he had previously saved one at *30-40.

Grigor Dimitrov came from a set down to qualify for the next round in a lengthy three setter, eventually coming out on top against Marcos Baghdatis 6-7(4) 7-6(0) 6-3. Serve was dominant in the first with no breaks and just two break opportunities, both of which were the Bulgarian failed to convert. The first set tie break followed the theme of the set, with just the one mini break being decisive. Baghdatis took a 3-1 lead in the breaker and would hold it til the end, eventually coming out on top 7-4 in the breaker.

Four straight holds at the beginning of the set suggested that it would be more of the same before break points came in abundance in the middle of the set. Dimitrov took the second of his in game five to take a break lead before saving one in the next game for a 4-2 lead. He had opportunities for a double break lead but failed to convert and would be punished for it as he gave away his serve in the next game. At 4-4 and *30-40, Dimitrov had a chance to be able to serve for the set but again would not be able to convert. 3 more comfortable holds followed and a tiebreak for the second set running would be needed. Dimitrov would blow Baghdatis away this time round, winning all 7 points for a surprising 7-0 tie break victory.

The momentum was all with the Bulgarian from then on, breaking in the first Baghdatis service of the set and holding it all the way til the end, although he would have to save break points in two service games along the way. Dimitrov would have a break point (and match point) at 5-2 up that would go unconverted but he managed to pull out his most comfortable service game for a long time, holding to 15 to move into the semis.

Aaron Higgs
Aaron Higgs
Experienced tennis writer with a focus on event previews and results.

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