Jerry den Hartog is through to the semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Meilof Veeningen.
Den Hartog, who reached the semis on his two previous attempts, kicked off his 2014 campaign hoping for a repeat of his 2011 quarter-final result, in which he beat Veeningen comfortably. While the previous edition of this fixture was played in blistering heat with temperatures topping 35 degrees, this time the match was played under artificial light on a breezy September night.
Also, the result of the match initially did not look certain to be the same, with Meilof responding to each of Jerry’s two early breaks with a re-break. At 5-4, however, the re-break was not an issue, and he again attacked Meilof’s service game to take the first set 6-4.
It was time for Veeningen to step up a gear, but instead his challenge faded quickly, as he hit some precarious balls to directly drop his serve, moving one break behind at 0-3. From 4-4 in the first, he had now lost five on the trot, and he looked rattled even though Jerry took the pressure off a little bit to hand him a hold at 3-1. After this, there was no looking back for Jerry as he raced on to a 6-1 win, and a place in the semi-finals.
“The conditions were a lot better than at our previous meeting”, said Den Hartog, adding that “it was a nice game, my opponent was much improved from last time we met.” But Veeningen will be disappointed at his collapse at the end of the first set, ruing what might have been, had he been able to hold on a little longer.
Den Hartog is now through to the semis, in which he will meet either Dion Boesten or Jacques Resing, with these two battling it out at the TU/e tennis courts tomorrow afternoon at 14:45.
Still friendly before the match…