As far as the Cincinnati Master title favourites were concerned, it was just another day at the office except perhaps for the second seed who dropped a set.
At some point I will have to, I'm pretty sure about it, but so far it hasn't been mandatory to compete, so I haven't done it, no, Stefanos Tsitsipas
While Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev swept into the last eight with relative ease, Stefanos Tsitsipas required three sets to get past Italian, Lorenzo Sonego, 5-7 6-3 6-4.
Not only did he have to contend with a stubborn Italian, he has upset the Greek Government who responded to some comments their star made earlier this week on the subjects of Covid vaccination which Tsitsipas is avoiding until such time it is made mandatory.
“No-one has made it a mandatory thing to be vaccinated. At some point I will have to, I’m pretty sure about it, but so far it hasn’t been mandatory to compete, so I haven’t done it, no,” the world number three said.
“I’m young, under 25. For me the vaccine has not been tested enough, it is new. It has some side effects.
“I personally know some people who have had them. I’m not against it, I just see no reason for someone in my age group to need to be vaccinated.
“I want to see a better version of the vaccine, which will give us more pluses than minuses,” he added while stating no one should be forced into taking the jab.
His father and coach, Apostolos supports his views saying all the players are taking the required precautions to remain safe.
Speaking on behalf of the Government, Giannis Economou said: “He has neither the knowledge, nor the studies, nor the research work, that would allow him to form an opinion about it” while stressing that those sort of opinions can be dangerous and Tstsipas, “should be doubly careful in expressing such views.”
Economou said that while world number three Tsitsipas “is a great athlete, what is at stake, however, is his ability to assess the need for vaccinations or whether the vaccine has been tested for a sufficient period of time.”
Meanwhile in Cincinnati, Medvedev, the 2019 champion and last year’s runner-up to Novak Djokovic, advanced after two-hours and 28-minutes, to the quarter-finals of the US Open tune-up event, with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 victory over Hungarian Grigor Dimitrov.
“It was definitely a great level of tennis,” Medvedev said. “It was pretty hot for both of us. I saw Grigor struggling, so I figured that’s how it is. It’s the same for everybody. Our bodies are getting more used to the heat.”
However he did suffer a nasty fall early in the second set which left him slightly bruised.
“You can’t see this on video, but my racket got between my legs and hit the back of my calf,” Medvedev explained. “I don’t know how that happens. I actually have a bruise on my calf. A bruise is a bruise. It’s nothing serious.”
Both his matches this week have been relatively easy for the Toronto Masters champion as he prepares for the US Open.
“The more matches I can win in these two tournaments that are similar to New York, the more confidence you have,” he said.
“Confidence is the big key. It’s good coming there knowing that you’re capable of playing good. Now, I know it’s possible. A Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. They’re tough. Opponents want to beat you. You hope you show your best tennis.”
In other action Olympic champion and third-seeded Zverev also progressed comfortably, beating Guido Pella of Argentina 6-2 6-3 and is on course to meet Tsitsipas in the semi-finals which could well turn out to be the match of the week.
First Zverev needs to get past the in-form Norwegian Casper Ruud who took out Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-3 while Tsitsipas faces Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada, a surprising 6-4 6-3 winner over the fifth seeded Matteo Berrettini of Italy.
In the top half Medvedev faces Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta who beat Poland’s Hubert Hurcacz 7-6(6) 7-6(3) while his Russian compatriot, Andrei Rublev, a 7-6(2) 7-6(5) winner over Gael Monfils, takes on another Frenchman Benoit Paire who battled past American John Isner 7-6(1) 6-7(2) 6-1.