It was looking like a welcome short day at the office for Adrian Mannarino, who led Jordan Thompson 6-0, 5-2 on a hot Thursday at the Infosys Hall of Fame Open. The second-seeded Frenchman still picked up the win in the end, but he had to battle through three sets and nearly three hours for a 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-2 result on the Newport grass.
“I was just trying to stay focussed, to play every point like I should do, not getting upset from the scenario of the second set and trying to stay consistent,” Mannarino said in his on-court interview, adding that he felt he “choked” in the second set.
“But it was not easy. I was up so far in the score, and then Jordan started to play really well. He was not missing any more and in the beginning of the third set he had the [momentum]. So it was tough to stay in the match, but I did it very well.”
Thompson, who is teaming with Mannarino in doubles this week, won four straight games to turn the tide in set two, capped with a battling service hold that spanned nine deuces at 5-5.
Suddenly facing the prospect of a fourth Newport quarter-final defeat, the 35-year-old Mannarino showed his veteran poise to re-establish himself in the match — but only after saving an early break point in the final set.
The Frenchman advanced to his 22nd tour-level semi-final and his first at the Newport ATP 250. Thompson was denied his fifth semi-final, with his previous four all coming on grass, including two years ago in Newport.