Nikoloz Basilashvili and Lloyd Harris showed pure grass tennis in the second quarter finals of the day. The serve defined the action on the Centre Court – and the one service slightly better and, overall, returning better, has reached the semi-finals at the NOVENTI OPEN 2021: Nikoloz Basilashvili, who celebrated his 6:4, 7:6(5)-victory by clenching his fist – quite an unusual outburst of emotion for him.
Long rallies were rarely seen. Both players didn’t shy away from risk, tried in their service to put pressure on their opponent. This was achieved quite evenly by both. This changed only in the tenth game of the first round. At 5:4 the Georgian took his chances and risked more, forced Lloyd Harris to make mistakes. The tall South African was able to ward off the first set point. Nikoloz Basilashvili got the second point though.
From then on, the 29-year-old from Geogia had the upper hand. Lloyd Harris was struggling with his serves. The 1,93 meter tall faltered, but didn’t fall. He fended three break points off in his own service game of the second set. Then settled it 1:1. Both lurked for their chances during the following game. They were rare. At 4:4, however, Lloyd Harris managed to agonize the Georgian. The third break point went to Africa’s No. 1 5:4. When all had already prepared themselves for a third set, Nikoloz Basilashvili beat back – break and balanced to 5:5. The rallies were longer – you could sense the match was reaching the crucial point: tiebreak. It was as if the two opponents had kept the best rallies for the end. Both were fully focussed, but Nikoloz Basilashvili was just slightly more focussed than Harris. So the Georgian turned his third match point to make it 7:5 in the tiebreak.
“I love playing in Germany – and in Halle. Today, it was unusually warm and that’s why it was hard. I am really happy to have won this match and to have reached the semi-finals“a very happy Nikoloz Basilashvili said, who has won three (twice Hamburg, once Munich) of his five tournament victories on the ATP Tour in Germany.