2021 Viking International

Men’s Semi-final Preview

Sonego vs Purcell

Italian ace soaring but may be put to the sword by Australian qualifier

Lorenzo Sonego, the Italian world no.27, has been outplaying opponents at Devonshire Park but faces his first tough ask against little-known MAx Purcell.

Sonego, who won his first ATP Tour title on the grass courts at the 2018 Antalya Open in Turkey, appears close to claiming yet another crown on the surface.

He has already beaten an Australian, accounting for John Millman in the 2nd Round and then destroying Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik in their disappointing one-way quarter-final 6–1 7–5.

The 26-year-old Italian could be stretched by the unknown quantity of Sydney’s Purcell who came through the qualifiers.
Purcell defeated South African Kevin Anderson, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist and Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka to escape the qualifiers. Italian veteran Andreas Seppi was stunned in their quarter-final clash, with the 23-year-old claiming his maiden ATP Tour semi-final appearance.

Passionate Sonego, who has monopolised matches so far, will be aiming to dominate proceedings again. But Purcell’s dream week could continue and bring down the curtain on the Italian’s fine run if he produces another of his blazing performances on centre stage.

Prediction | Sonego in three sets

Monti

De Minaur vs Kwon

No.2 seed yet to drop a set ahead of clash with lucky loser

Alex De Minaur, a shock semi-finalist on the grass at Queen’s Club, has been stunning on the surface this term and taken his excellent form to Devonshire Park.

The Australian no.2 seed seems destined for the final as he is improving on results at each tournament. He reached the quarter-finals at Stuttgart in Germany, followed it up with a place in the last four in London and has hit the sweet spot at Eastbourne.

De Minaur has yet to drop a set at the tournament, comfortably seeing off Brit Liam Broady in the 2nd Round, then easing past Bahamas-based Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

Kwon Soon-woo stands between the 22-year-old and a place in the final. The South Korean, in the main draw as a lucky loser after losing in the qualifiers to Britain’s Alastair Gray, filled the place of American no.4 seed Reilly Opelka.

Gifted a bye to the last 16, Kwon took 150 minutes to dispatch Hungarian Márton Fucsovics. The 23-year-old then narrowly edged out Belarus’ lucky loser Ilya Ivashka in two tight sets.

Prediction | De Minaur in straight sets

MONTI
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