On his 31st birthday, Vasek Pospisil punched his ticket to the quarter-finals at the Viking International Eastbourne, his first quarter-final appearance since November 2020. After Pospisil won the first set 7-6(1), his opponent Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain retired due to a lower-back injury.
Although the match ended earlier than anticipated, there were still a lot of positives showcased from the Canadian.
Pospisil had a strong start to the match and won all four of his service points in the first game. He finished the match with 11 aces, one double fault, and won 90 percent of points on first serves.
The early sighting of Davidovich Fokina’s injury was in the second game when the Spaniard was forced to take a medical timeout after aggravating his lower back. Despite the grimaces, the Spaniard continued playing, fought off two break points, and managed to hold.
In the fourth game, Davidovich Fokina, up 40-30, committed a double fault and gave the Canadian a chance to come back in the game. However, the sneaky World No. 35 hit an underhand serve that fooled Pospisil. The Canadian’s return went in the net and Davidovich Fokina was able to hold once again.
Both players were sharp in their service games moving forward. Pospisil had four break point opportunities and Davidovich Fokina had one, but neither players were able to convert.
A first-set tiebreak was needed. However, it was quite one-sided as Pospisil earned three mini-breaks and didn’t allow the Spaniard a chance to come back in the set. After Pospisil hit the set winner, Davidovich Fokina called it a day and shook hands with the Canadian. Hopefully the Spaniard will be able to recover from his injury in time for Wimbledon.
Pospisil will face the winner between Liam Broady of the United Kingdom and Alex De Minaur of Australia on Thursday.
On the women’s side, Bianca Andreescu could not back up her first ever win on grass on Tuesday, falling in straight sets to Anett Kontaveit in her second-round match on Wednesday.
Andreescu was broken six times and committed 28 unforced errors to just nine winners, ultimately falling 6-3, 6-3.
Kontaveit’s power was the difference as Andreescu found herself on defence in points and being forced to do too much with her shots, often leading to errors.
It was only the second meeting between the two and the first match played to completion, after Andreescu retired from their meeting in Miami back in 2019.
The match got off to a wild start with three straight breaks of serve, two for Kontaveit, one for Andreescu, before the Estonian held for a 3-1 lead. This ultimately set the tone for the entire match.
Rhythm remained elusive for both players on serve in the early stages. After finally getting a hold, Andreescu broke again to level the set at 3-all, only to immediately hit back-to-back errors to hand another break to Kontaveit.
This time, Kontaveit did not give the lead back, holding for 5-3 and wrapping up the set with a fourth break.
Andreescu had no answer for Kontaveit’s power in the opening set, often getting forced into errors in long, hard-hitting rallies.
The second set started with three straight holds, the longest stretch of the match, before Kontaveit again bludgeoned Andreescu into a break of serve and a 3-1 lead.
The Canadian was now missing routine shots as she scrambled, unsuccessfully, to get back into the match.
For a moment it looked like Andreescu might turn things around, playing a strong return game at 2-4 and getting the break back thanks to a double fault from Kontaveit. But once again the Canadian could struggled to string games together, surrendering the break back with a series of unforced errors.
It proved to be a fatal error, as Kontaveit promptly served out the match in the very next game.
Every time Andreescu broke serve in the match, she was immediately broken back.
Next up is Wimbledon, where Andreescu is seeded sixth.