Defending champion Casper Ruud against Reilly Opelka and the evergreen Richard Gasquet versus Joao Sousa – Friday’s enticing semi-final line-up at the Gonet Geneva Open is one for all tennis fans to savour.
At his commanding best in seeing off Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4 7-6(3) on Thursday, Ruud is sure to face a stiff test from the big-serving Opelka. The Norwegian will be content to bide his time, however, having been in scintillating form all tournament long. Just as he had done against Benoît Paire on Wednesday, the world No. 8 barely gave Kokkinakis an opening.
Two days after accounting for world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, Gasquet maintained his fine run of form in playing conditions that suited him down to the ground. Up against Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak, he gave another backhand masterclass to run out a 6-2 6-4 winner. The Frenchman will need to show the same discipline against Sousa. A runner-up here to Thomaz Bellucci in 2015, the Portuguese is in excellent fettle once more at the Parc des Eaux-Vives.
His country’s greatest player of all time, he eased into the last four courtesy of a 7-5 7-5 win over Ilya Ivashka, clinching victory on his fifth match point. Having found a second wind, can the 33-year-old steer his way into another Geneva final?