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By Adrianna Outlaw | Friday, July 23, 2021


Hugo Gaston denied four match points toppling fourth-seeded Cristian Garin 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(11) to reach his first ATP semifinal in Gstaad.

Photo credit: @SwissOpenGstaad

Defiance and daring helped Hugo Gaston reach his first ATP semifinal in a thriller.

World No. 155 Gaston denied four match points upsetting fourth-seeded Cristian Garin 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(11) to reach his first ATP semifinal at the Swiss Open Gstaad.

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The 20-year-old Frenchman fought back from a break down at 2-4 in the final set breaking back at love to level the decider at 4-all. Gaston made a spirited stand in an epic tiebreaker as he fought off match points trailing 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, and 10-11 winning the final three points to seize a thrilling two hour, 20-minute triumph.

A bold Gaston successfully serve-and-volleyed to save the first match point. Gaston used the drop shot to good effect at crunch-time exploiting Garin's sometime deep court positioning. Gaston carved out a drop shot winner to close a spirited comeback.

"I love doing this shot, but you have to do it wisely," Gaston told L'Equipe afterward. "It should not be abused.

"I'm super-happy to reach my first semifinal of course. I came to Gstaad with confidence because I'm playing very well right now. I am especially happy with my overall level and also in terms of attitude: I feel very calm, very serene."

It was Gaston's 17th clay-court win of the season as he becomes the youngest Gstaad semifinalist since 2006 when a 17-year-old Marin Cilic charged into the Swiss Open final four. 

Gaston will face Laslo Djere for a spot in Sunday's final.

Tennis Express

The seventh-seeded Djere broke in the final game defeating 100th-ranked Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 to reach his second straight semifinal.

Last week, Djere advanced to the Hamburg semifinals before bowing to Filip Krajinovic.

Today, Djere earned triple match point in the last game. Rinderknech fought off two points points. On the third, Djere's full-stretch forehand return crashed into the tape and crawled over the net. The Frenchman pushed a desperate reply over net, but Djere banged a backhand pass to end a tight two hour, 36-minute win.

The 52nd-ranked Serbian did not surrender serve in the match.

Czech qualifier Vit Kopriva won eight straight games sealing a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing of Mikael Ymer.

The 249th-ranked Kopriva won 13 of 14 first-serve points and held at love in four of his six service games.

Kopriva will play either top-seeded Casper Ruud or sixth-seeded Benoit Paire in the semifinals.


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