Men’s Semifinal: [CR109] Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) vs. [CR136] Nicolas Almagro (ESP)
It was a well-deserved victory for Mathieu who has been battling to recover his form since his return from an extended lay-off due to injury/surgery. He led their head-to head; however, that was no guarantee of success. He is still not match tough, and neither was Almagro, who has also just started to get back in form after his own injury issues. The match was progressing nicely with both players very focused and keen on making it to the final. The knock on Almagro has always been his lack of mental strength and the test came for Almagro when he served to stay in the first set at 4-5. He failed to do so and that was the end of the match as far as Almagro was concerned. It was simply a matter of Mathieu holding his serve to win the match; however, nerves got to him. He wobbled at the end, but the lack of interest by Almagro at that stage of the match helped and Mathieu won 6-4, 6-3. He’s into his first ATP World Tour singles final since 2009.
It was a very strange first set from Thiem. Mentally and physically exhausted after winning two consecutive tournaments on clay, he just could not get it going in the first set. Kohlschreiber took full advantage, kept his composure and stifled the crowd by handing Thiem a bagel in the first set. Thiem appeared to recover his footing in the second set after he held serve and started serving better. Kohlschreiber was not discouraged, he expected his opponent to elevate his game and he remained steady despite the location. Thiem continued to struggle in the second set and although he forced a tiebreak, his run of winning matches came to a halt. Kohlschreiber defeated the hometown favorite, Thiem, 6-0, 7-6(6).