ATP Challenger Mexico City: Tiebreak king Neuchrist already in the semifinals – ÖTV

Over the course of his career, Maximilian Neuchrist has had to fight back from long injury breaks and made a name for himself as a stand-up man (ÖTV reported on Thursday). At this week’s Mexico City Open, the seasoned 31-year-old earned two more titles: Tiebreak King and Marathon Man. Because after seven games in just five days (including doubles), the Viennese is surprisingly in the semifinals of the ATP 125 clay court challenger in the Mexican city of millions with five wins in singles. Only in the doubles competition was the final stop on Thursday (local time) in the quarterfinals with Alex Lawson (USA).

Neuchrist’s run of success started with the qualification. As the top ranked player (ATP 248), he played 7: 6 (5), 6: 2 over the Brazilian Gustavo Heide (ATP 438) and 7: 6 (2), 6: 7 (4), 6: 3 eleventh-placed Benjamin Lock (ATP 380) from Zimbabwe in the main competition. There he first put the American Mitchell Krueger (ATP 215) in his place in round one with 6: 4, 1: 6, 6: 1 and then the seventh seeded Brazilian Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves (ATP 164) and the Swiss Antoine Bellier (ATP 175) with strong nerves in two tiebreaks – with 7: 6 (2), 7: 6 (5) and 7: 6 (4), 7: 6 (5). He has thus been able to win six out of seven tie-breaks in singles.

With 31 years and a lot of patience towards the top 200

Neuchrist has been convincing in Mexico City so far with his well-known strengths: with good serves, good net play, his strong forehands and with unpleasant, poisonous slices – coupled with a lot of patience to wait for the right moment to attack or counterattack. In contrast to the game against Meligeni Rodrigues Alves, in which he had to tremble in both sets after a playful break lead, this time he was harmless against Bellier on his own serve, just like his opponent. He was not impressed by a missed match point at 5: 4 in the second round and a two-time mini-break deficit in the tie-break (0: 1 and 2: 4), he ultimately used his third match point in total.

In the fight for a place in the final, Neuchrist will challenge German qualifier Dominik Koepfer on Friday at 11:00 p.m. (CEST). With the 28-year-old (ATP 262), he now has a left-hander and a tough opponent who was number 50 in the world in May 2021 and who has four appearances for the Davis Cup team from Austria’s neighboring country. However, Neuchrist is already certain of 50 ATP points and at least the second-best result in terms of points in his rating. In any case, he will pulverize his previous career high in the world rankings of 244th place on July 30, 2018 on Monday and will push himself close to the top 200 in the world for the first time – in the live ranking he is currently in 202nd place at the age of 31 he would still break this sound barrier and line up for place 185. Either way, his second appearance in a Grand Slam qualification after the US Open 2018 can no longer be taken away from him – and after the French Open 2023 probably not a third appearance either, a first at the grass classic in Wimbledon.

Here are all the results of the ATP 125 Challenger in Mexico City.


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