Bedene Hangs Tough, Beats Tsitsipas In Rotterdam
Defending champion Monfils rolls past Simon
Aljaz Bedene recorded just the second Top 10 victory of his career on Thursday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The Slovenian held firm on serve in the first set en route to overcoming World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 33 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals. He’ll now meet Felix Auger-Aliassime for the first time.
“I tried to stay focused throughout the game and I delivered,” said Bedene. “I served really well when it was important and I kept my cool, as I did feel he was pressuring me sometimes. I only tried to stay focused on my game, because if I am thinking too much it would probably go a different way. When I was serving for the match, I did what I had to do and that last shot was great.”
Bedene saved five break points in the first set – two in his first service game and three at 3-4 – before winning the final 11 points to take the 53-minute opener. Second seed Tsitsipas unravelled after leading 5-4, with Bedene at 15/30 on his serve, and was broken to love at 5-5 when he struck a forehand wide.
Bedene gained a second service break at 1-1 in the second set, when a crosscourt forehand hit the net and bounced over Tsitsipas, who was en route to the net. World No. 52 Bedene closed out with a brilliant forehand down the line – his 20th winner of the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting.
“He was probably the better player in most of the first set, he was serving really well," admitted Bedene. "I didn’t play my game on his service points, but I stayed tough. The break gave me a boost of confidence at 5-5, having played well the game before too. I stayed focused and it was good towards the end.”
Tsitsipas, who recovered from a set and break down against Hubert Hurkacz in the first round, drops to a 3-4 record on the season.
In the first match of the evening session, Gael Monfils extended his excellent record in Rotterdam by winning for the 11th time in his past 12 matches at the ATP 500 tournament.
The defending champion beat fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon for only the third time in 10 meetings, 6-4, 6-1 over 90 minutes, and will next face Daniel Evans in the quarter-finals. Third seed Monfils has now won six matches in a row, which includes his ninth ATP Tour crown last week at the Open Sud de France (d. Pospisil).