Schwartzman Amongst Early Casualties in Tel Aviv
On Thursday, the Tel Aviv Watergen Open saw favored players Botic van de Zandschulp and Diego Schwartzman become early casualties.
This was because the two players were upset by their respective opponents who were rather unfancied, namely Liam Broady and Arthur Rinderknesch.
The event’s main attraction and top seed, Novak Djokovic was scheduled to take the court in the evening.
Thursday also saw Israeli play in the tennis tournament come to an end when qualifier Eden Leshem suffered at the hands of experienced Vasek Pospisil in one hour, 20 minutes.
Participating in the qualifying competition, Pospisil had been struggling with an injury and was unable to win his match.
However, he had gotten a reprieve in the event’s main draw as the lucky loser, after injury caused another player to withdraw from the tournament.
In the match against Leshem, Pospisil had remained in control and the aspiring Israeli did not give him any trouble.
Leshem had reached the last round of 16 in the tennis tournament after advancing from the qualifying event when he defeated Yshai Oliel, another compatriot, in the previous round.
Currently, Leshem holds the No. 446 position in rankings, but he could rise about 80 positions because of his success.
Round of 16
At No. 35 spot in world rankings and seeded fifth in the Tel Aviv tournament, Dutchman van de Zandschulp lost at the hands of Broady in a match that extended to three sets.
The British qualifier is ranked at the 174th position in world tennis rankings. Argentina’s Schwartzman had been a crowd favorite and was the third seed in the tournament.
He has the 17th ranking, but was defeated at the hands of Frenchman Rinderknesch, who used his big serve to overcome his opponent as he is not in his best form.
The Argentinian had made numerous errors, allowing the 58th ranked player to beat him and move ahead.
The late match
The late match on Wednesday was certainly worth waiting for and was one of the best ones that have been seen in Israel in years.
It was between Dominic Thiem of Austria and Croatia’s Maric Cilic, who was the second seed in the tournament.
The Croatian was celebrating his 34th birthday on the day and it ended on a win for him, one that he had to work very hard for.
The Austrian player pushed him till the very end, despite returning from an injury and being a wild card entry.
The faces of both the players reflected the intensity of tennis, as they had had to put in every ounce of effort into each shot.
It was undoubtedly a major spectacle that anyone who witnessed would not be able to forget anytime soon.
Cilic later said in an interview that the match had been downright fantastic that made his birthday fantastic as well. He added that it was a completely different level and that they don’t get chances of playing for such a big crowd.