UTS Day 6: Thiem slips into top four, Tsitsipas new number one

The UTS’ sixth day saw Dominic Thiem win his third match against an ATP top ten player and Stefanos Tsitsipas win his fifth match (the first player to do so in the event). Here’s a full recap of the final day of the weekend.

Match #1: The Virtuoso (Richard Gasquet) def. The Tornado (Corentin Moutet) 3-1

Moutet faltered after putting up an impressive 4-0 victory yesterday. Gasquet did the opposite; he made up for his 0-4 loss yesterday with a win here. He played a nearly flawless first quarter, winning it 18-5 while committing only one unforced error. Moutet’s 36% 1st serve percentage aided to the Frenchman’s sound start.

Moutet rebounded and eeked out a second-quarter win 15-14 but it was Gasquet that had control of the match in its entirety. He took the third set 12-11 and won the deciding set convincingly. 17-8.

Gasquet is still in the tour four currently and looks like he’ll still be playing once the “post-season” begins at the UTS. Moutet’s late start hurts him; he’ll need to go 2-0 next weekend to have a shot.

Match #2: The Dominator (Dominic Thiem) def. The Hammer (Matteo Berrettini) 3-1

Thiem is finally in his grove at the UTS and is a threat to Tsitsipas and Berrettini at the top of the leaderboard. He proved that today against Berrettini as he defeated the top player three quarters to one.

After an opening quarter win by Berrettini, Thiem proceeded to rattle off two straight convincing quarter wins (17-11, 18-13). After taking a 2-1 lead, the pair played a close final quarter which ended in a 12-12 deciding point with no time left. Thiem played a beautiful backhand passing shot to clinch the win and take down the top-ranked UTS player.

Thiem is definitely on the rise. At the rate he’s going, he’ll be a threat to win the entire event. That is, of course, if he can hold onto his spot in the top four.

Match #3: The Wall (David Goffin) def. The Underdog (Elliot Bechitrit) 3-1

After Dustin Brown withdrew from the match due to injury, Elliot Bechitrit stepped back into the fold to take on Goffin. The Underdog went 1-1 during his two Week 1 matches before being replaced by Dominic Thiem.

Goffin played fantastic tennis throughout this match. After losing the first quarter, he piled on the points with a 20-12 second quarter win. He dominated from there, taking the third 14-10 and the fourth 20-8. Benchitrit had no chance down the stretch; Goffin simply outplayed him.

Goffin now sits at 3-3 along with Feliciano Lopez and Alexei Popyrin. Goffin has been playing most consistently throughout the last two weeks, so if anyone is a threat to the 4th spot, it’d be The Wall.

Match #4: The Torero (Feliciano Lopez) def. The Rebel (Benoit Paire) 3-1

Paire’s play, as usual, has been a roller coaster. He was on his game last weekend but it seems he’s back to his first week struggles with an 0-2 record during the last two days.

Lopez outclassed the inconsistent rebel throughout the match. After narrowly losing the first quarter, he burst the match open with a 22-1 quarter win. He took the third and won the match on another 20-point quarter (24-14) to improve to 3-3.

Lopez has a decent chance at sneaking into the top four next weekend if he puts together a 2-0 record.

Match #5: The Greek God (Stefanos Tsitsipas) def. The Sniper (Alexei Popyrin) 3-1

Amidst all of the Matteo Berrettini hype, Tsitsipas has been arguably neck-and-neck with the Italian. His only loss was to Dominic Thiem and is just as dangerous as Berrettini moving forward.

Although Popyrin is 3-3, Tsitsipas showed the level of play needed to be at the top. He ripped through and won the first three quarters 17-12, 20-9, and 19-8. The Greek God hit 20 winners on his way to victory; no one could’ve gotten close to him today.

Post-Day 6 standings

  1. Stefanos Tsitsipas (5-1, 16-10, +85)
  2. Matteo Berrettini (4-2, 15-9, +50) 
  3. Richard Gasquet (4-2, 15-11, +50)
  4.  Dominic Thiem (3-1, 10-6, +16)
  5. Feliciano Lopez (3-3, 15-12, +29)
  6. David Goffin (3-3, 14-12, +24)
  7. Alexei Popyrin (3-3, 11-13, -29)
  8.  Corentin Moutet (2-2, 10-6, +22)
  9. Benoit Paire (2-4, 8-16, -87)
  10. Elliot Benchitrit (1-2, 5-8, -21)
  11. Dustin Brown (0-5, 3-17, -120)

Tsitsipas became the first player to reach 5 wins today and it was a convincing 5th win for him at that. He and Berrettini are the favorites moving forward but Tsitsipas’ two wins this weekend gives him the number one slot and slight advantage for now.

Next: BOTB: Dan Evans wins singles final, Murray turns into Coach Murray

The biggest riser is Thiem. After his late start to the event, he’s put together wins over Tsitsipas, Goffin, and Berrettini in succession. He’s the biggest threat to the top two, given the fact that he’s already beaten both of them. We’ll see how Thiem and the others finish come next weekend at the UTS’ final weekend before the postseason.

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