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Airport tennis in Berlin: Sevastova in full flight; Sinner lifts off
Plus, Dominic Thiem walks the runway, then soars past Tommy Haas.
Published Jul 18, 2020
With the coronavirus having reduced air travel to a tiny fraction of what it once was, this week's bett1ACES tennis event, held inside Hangar 6 at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, might be the closest many people will get to a plane for some time.
Friday's matches saw Elena Svitolina, Dominic Thiem and Tommy Haas, among others, soar past their opponents in victory. Here are the semifinal results—and the best images—from Saturday's play. (All photos from Getty Images)
If Svitolina looks a little down in this incredible photo, it's because her opponent, Anastasija Sevastova, was something this plane was not: in full flight. The Latvian annihilated Svitolina, 6-1, 6-1.
"In regards to the result, it was still a tough match, very physical," said an overly modest Sevastova. "There were little points, maybe hit some lines. She missed some close shots. Still, I had to work for it—it's not like it just came."
The setting isn't the only thing that's unique at Tempelhof Airport. The light-grey hard court looks almost white when contrasted with the dark-grey out-of-bounds areas.
But Petra Kvitova's forehand was a familiar sight—if an unpleasant one for Andrea Petkovic, who lost 3-6, 6-4, [10-5].
"By the second [set] I was able to play more patient, but still aggressive," said Kvitova, who will face Sevastova in Sunday's final.
It's a bird...it's a plane...it's Dominic Thiem, a regular in the COVID-19 tennis event world. Winner of the grass-court event in Berlin earlier this week, Thiem walked the runway to his semifinal against Haas.
Haas' backhand is beauty in any venue. Somehow, it looks even nicer here.
But Thiem has a pretty nice backhand himself—along with other potent shots and plenty of confidence. He added another win to his summer total with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Haas.
A limited number of fans are allowed to attend the event, seated six feet apart. In Saturday's opening match, they saw Jannik Sinner defeat Roberto Bautista Agut, 7-6 (5), 6-2.
"I'll try to give everything to beat him a second time this week," Thiem said of Sinner, whom the Austrian topped on grass on Tuesday, and who lifted off to serve on Saturday.
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