The semifinals are set for the second edition of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown and will feature Alexander Zverev, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Richard Gasquet, and Corentin Moutet. The leading scorer, Zverev was granted the opportunity to choose his semifinal opponent and expected, chose to play Corentin Moutet— no one should want any part of the red-hot Richard Gasquet— who has been one of UTS’ top performers the past few months.
The day began with an implication-less match as Grigor Dimitrov, who has been struggling physically since his positive coronavirus test result, captured his second wind and defeated Nicolas Mahut three quarters to one.
Corentin Moutet advanced following a mid-match retirement from Benoit Paire. Perhaps Paire lost his will to compete after this stunning display of foot speed and athleticism from Moutet.
In the day’s premium matchup, Zverev survived Auger-Aliassime in a thrilling sudden-death tiebreak. Zverev twice pulled off tennis’ new version of the buzzer-beater, stealing both the first and second quarter as time expired. Zverev continues to find success against Auger-Aliassime, adding a UTS victory to his two 2019 tour level victories over the rising Canadian star.
On the women’s side it was all about 13-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova. The reigning Le Petit As champion, who trains at the Mourotoglou academy, showcased her brilliant two-handed backhand, but as expected, was no match for the 14-year Tour veteran Alize Cornet. Fruhvirtova was close to stealing the third quarter, but Cornet peppered the 13-year-old much weaker forehand and ultimately sealed the deal. All things considered, the teenager handled the pressure and stage admirably.
“This format is crazy physically if you have two or three long rallies in a row,” said Cornet. “I was making fun of Benoit (Paire) earlier for saying he was exhausted, but wow.”
In the second women’s semifinal, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova caught fire, blitzing through Ons Jabeur three quarters to none. When the Russian gets hot she can hit anyone off the court, and was only rewarded by the UTS format, reaching insurmountable leads in each quarter.
Pavlyuchenkova will face off against Cornet on Sunday for the first ever UTS women’s trophy.
Who will remain in this year's 21 & Under Club, and which new players will join them?
Find out all week on TENNIS.com and Baseline.
Monday, July 27: Sofia Kenin | Monday, July 27: Elena Rybakina | Monday, July 27: Alex de Minaur, Dayana Yastremska, Casper Ruud | Tuesday, July 28: Stefanos Tsitsipas | Tuesday, July 28: Thiago Seyboth Wild | Wednesday, July 29: Amanda Anisimova | Wednesday, July 29: Brandon Nakashima | Thursday, July 30: Coco Gauff | Thursday, July 30: Caty McNally | Thursday, July 30: Jannik Sinner, Iga Swiatek | Friday, July 31: Felix Auger-Aliassime | Friday, July 31: Carlos Alcaraz | Saturday, August 1: Denis Shapovalov | Saturday, August 1: J.J. Wolf