First seed Berry Schoenmakers is through to his second EiPSI Open final as he beat Milan Petkovic 1-6, 7-5, 5-4 (c) in a three-set epic which will be the subject of discussion for a long time to come. His opponent will be Stan Korzilius, who kicked out Iason Zisis 6-3, 6-2, and who is yet to drop a set this tournament.
Milan Petkovic got off to a flying start, keeping his opponent at bay by excellent attacking play. First seed “Baseline” Berry Schoenmakers couldn’t get in, and found himself 1-5 down in a mere 20 minutes. Signs of what was to come emerged though as tension creeped into Milan’s arms when serving for the set. Milan had to defend a break point, but took the first set 6-1. With Berry sighing heavily and venting his frustration, things looked ominous for the professional first seed.
But, as true champions do, he found something from somewhere, and raced into a 4-1 lead in the second as Milan started to hold back just a little bit. Milan was not to be deterred completely though, as he took a break back with a brilliant backhand winner to go 4 apiece. Berry managed to keep his composure to force a decider: 7-5. As Milan and Berry exchanged breaks to make it 5-4 on serve in the third and the audience was preparing for a marathon match, a concession by Milan meant however that the match was over, and Berry was through to the final.
The exact circumstances of the concession are yet to emerge. As turned out later, the concession came just in time for Berry, who had to leave directly for his next tennis competition. The tournament organisation said it will not investigate the matter.
Berry Schoenmakers now faces Stan Korzilius, who needed just 1h 1m for his semi-final against Iason Zisis, in the final. Korzilius, who has dropped just 7 games this tournament and looks to be in bang-on form on his favorite surface, will be a tough nut to crack for the title defender. The date and time of the final are yet to be decided.
EiPSI Open Day 4 as it happened
17:42 And we’re LIVE now from the tennis courts, where Berry and Milan are getting ready for their semi-final. Should be a good one!
17:45 And also Stan and Iason have taken to the field. What an atmosphere!
17:48 Milan elects to serve, and takes the first game from 30-30. Fantastic conditions here today. And some attacking play by Milan: 0-30…
17:51 Some attacking play by Milan, especially on Berrys second serve.. But a few unforced errors, and Berry manages a hold. What a match this is!
17:54 Another comfortable hold by Milan, who definitely looks the sharper of the two in the opening exchanges of this match
17:59 There we go! First blood to Milan, who makes it 3-1.. Maybe his day day of rest is making the difference here..
18:01 4-1.. And 2-1 for Stan on the other court, no breaks so far
18:06 5-1.. Milan is flying at the moment. Tension growing as he is serving for the set though at 0-15. Can he keep his composure?
18:08 Deep balls, good spread… Milan is really building up the pressure against Berry, who is alread breathing heavily.. A break point though..
18:09 Some attacking play now by Berry, but Milan makes a great passing shot to give himself SET POINT!
18:10 And SET! 6-1 to the Djoker. Berry not hiding his tiredness… What will he be thinking now, does he have the confidence to change his game?
18:11 And Stan and Iason exchange breaks for 3-2..
18:12 Break now. Not in tennis, but from your truly as he is going to hit some balls himself…
18:57 Back with breaking news as Stan is the first to make it to the final with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Iason!
18:58 Meanwhile, Berry made a break to go 4-1 up in the second set, but we’re on serve now. Still 5-4 to Berry, Milan serving to stay in the set
19:01 And deuce on Milan’s serve.. Berry keeps attacking Milan’s backhand… But he finds a passing show to hold serve. It’s now 5 apiece!
19:03 Berry giving it his all with some nice walking actions.. And successfully, as he reaches to 6 first.. Milan again serving to stay in the set
19:09 Set point for Berry at 30-40, nice winner by Milan. But he takes it at the second occasion. 7-5 to Berry, and we have a three-setter!
19:54 I was shaking too much to tweet.. But it’s over, Milan conceded at 5-4 to Berry, who is now through to his second final in a row!
19:57 Well, it will be a while before the dust has settled on this one… All credit to Berry for hanging in there, it paid off eventually..
19:58 Date and time of the final to be decided later. See you tomorrow!