ATP Auckland: Kohlschreiber eases past Fognini. Norrie and Struff reach SF



by JOVICA ILIC

ATP Auckland: Kohlschreiber eases past Fognini. Norrie and Struff reach SF

A day after he scored a dominant win over Ugo Humbert, losing just three points on serve in the entire match, the 35-year-old Philipp Kohlschreiber is through to his fifth semi-final in Auckland after another dominant triumph, ousting the 2nd seed Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-1 in 65 minutes!

2008 Auckland champion scored his seventh win over the Italian in nine matches, saving both break points he faced and winning half of the return points to break Fabio four times from six opportunities he created. The better-ranked player struggled to find the first serve or any kind of rhythm, making too many mistakes and not being able to move Philipp from the comfort zone and impose his strokes in the rallies.

The German drew first blood in the third game when Fabio netted a backhand after the return and he fends off two break points with winners in the following game to cement the break and move 3-1 up. Fognini avoided an even bigger deficit when he saved a break point in game seven but he hit a double fault in game nine to hand the set to his rival, seemed to be not very bothered about the match and the overall outcome.

That was even more evident in set number two when Philipp sailed towards the finish line, breaking at love in game two and moving 5-1 up after another double fault from Fabio. Serving for the match in the following game, Kohlschreiber sealed the deal with a service winner, spending just over an hour on the court and entering the semi-final in the best possible way.

The 23-year-old Cameron Norrie spent his childhood in New Zealand and he will play in the fourth ATP semi-final in a career after a 7-6, 6-3 win over Taylor Fritz in an hour and 33 minutes. The world no. 93 outplayed the American in the serving department, hitting 11 aces and saving all four break points he faced to attach the pressure on the other side of the net.

Taylor had his opportunities in the opener but once he missed them he failed to follow Norrie's pace in set number two, suffering one break and ending his run in the quarters. A left-hander saved two break points with winners in the fourth game and he fired two more to erase the danger at 3-4, leveling the score and gaining the momentum before the rest of the set.

Taylor repelled a break point in game nine to set up a tie break where Cameron hit a beautiful volley winner at 2-3, moving 6-3 up after stealing two points on Fritz's serve. Another well-constructed point secured the set for the Briton and he lost just six points on serve in set number two, breaking Fritz in the eighth game after another booming forehand.

Serving for the match at 5-3, Cameron hit three winners to seal the deal and book the place in the semi-final in front of a delighted crowd that came to support him. In the longest match this week in Auckland, Jan-Lennard Struff prevailed against Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in three hours, saving a match point at 5-6 in the third set tie break to enter his first semi-final since St.

Petersburg in 2017. The German fired 22 aced and he had to play against just four break points in the entire match, keeping the pressure on the Spaniard who had to dig deep in his games, fending off 13 out of 15 break points to stay in touch all the time and to eventually earn that match point that Jan-Lennard saved with a forehand winner.

Both players had their chances on the return in the opening games and Pablo saved six set points on serve at 5-6 to reach the tie break that Struff won 7-5 after a service winner. The second set offered no break chances and this time it was Carreno Busta who played with more stamina in the breaker, taking it 8-6 after a huge forehand error from the German in the last point to set up a decider.

There, they traded breaks in the opening two games and again at 3-3 to stay locked up, with Pablo facing four match points on serve in the 10th game. He managed to erase them all and to earn that match point in the tie break but it wasn't to be for him in the end, allowing Jan-Lennard to save it and bring the match home after a real roller coaster. Quarter-final results:

[WC]Cameron Norrie (GBR) vs Taylor Fritz (USA) 7-6(3) 6-3
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) vs [4]Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 7-6(5) 6-7(6) 7-6(7)
Tennys Sandgren (USA) vs Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 6-3 7-6(5)
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [2]Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-3 6-1
Atp Auckland Tennys Sandgren Leonardo Mayer