THREE rising stars of the ATP Tour caused huge upsets across the three tournaments taking place, with Hugo Gaston, Carlos Alcaraz and Brandon Nakashima all bundling out top four seeded opponents to advance through to the next stage of their respective tournaments. In Mexico, the Mifel Open’s finalists were decided, whilst the semi-finalists for the Swiss Open and Croatia Open were determined overnight.
Nakashima took down second seed John Isner to advance through to his first ever ATP Tour final. The San Diego native is a week shy of his 20th birthday and ranked 134th in the world, but will hit a career-high by the end of the week. Having lost in his two matches prior to Los Cabos, Nakashima has made it all the way to the final, knocking out Isner 7-5 6-4 to face top seed Cameron Norrie in the final.
Norrie has also not won an ATP Tour title, and is at a career-high number 30 in the world. Set to be seeded at the US Open, the Brit will be in uncharted territory in the final, but is six years older and more than 100 ranking spots higher than his opponent. He defeated another American in Taylor Fritz, bundling out the third seed rather easily 6-3 6-1, to reach the decider.
For Frenchman Hugo Gaston, he picked up the win of his career at the Swiss Open with a stunning three-set epic against fourth seed Chilean Cristian Garin. The 6-4 1-6 7-6 upset was made all the more impressive by the fact it was on clay, Garin’s clear dominant surface. Gaston was made to work for it in the third set tiebreaker however, going 24 points for an eventual win of 13-11. The match lasted two hours and 20 minutes, with the 20-year-old Frenchman saving four match points in the process during that tiebreaker, winning the last three points of the clash to claim victory.
“I am very happy to be in my first [ATP Tour] semi-final,” Gaston said post-match. “It was a great fight. It was a really long match. I always tried to play my game, and it is a good win for me. I hope I can continue like that.”
He will hold the hopes of his nation in his hands, facing seventh seed Laslo Djere who toppled Gaston’s compatriot, Arthur Rinderknech. Djere won in a tight three sets, 6-4 6-7 6-4 to advance through to the Swiss Open semi-finals. In the other semi, third seed Casper Ruud will take on Czech qualifier Vit Kopriva, following Ruud’s three-set win over sixth seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire, 6-2 5-7 6-3. Kopriva put in one of the performances of the tournament with a 6-1 6-0 shellacking of Swede Mikael Ymer.
Meanwhile in the final ATP Tour tournament, Spanish star Alcaraz booked his spot in the semi-finals of the Croatia Open with a three-set victory over third seed Serbian Filip Krajinovic. He got up 7-6 2-6 6-1 to advance through to the final four, with compatriot and top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas the next opponent in his way. Ramos-Vinolas toppled Italian Stefano Travaglia easily, 6-2 6-1.
“I’m really happy to be in my second ATP semi-final. I think this tournament is going to be different than the first [time I made a semi-final] in Marbella [earlier this year],” Alcaraz said post-match. “I think I’m going to play differently. I think I’m going to handle the tough moments in a different way than I did in Marbella, and I think I’m ready to play against Ramos in the semi-finals with power.”
In the other quarter finals, fourth seed Frenchman Richard Gasquet defeated Damir Dzumhur in straight sets 6-3 7-6, while German qualifier Daniel Altmaier got the better of another seeded Serbian in Dusan Lajovic. Altmaier defeated the higher ranked Lajovic 6-2 6-4 to bundle out the second seed and take on Gasquet to try and reach the clay court final.
SWISS OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:
 Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated  Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-2 5-7 6-3
Hugo Gaston (FRA) defeated  Cristian Garin (CHI) 6-4 1-6 7-6
 Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) 6-4 6-7 6-4
[Q] Vit Kopriva (CZE) defeated Mikael Ymer (SWE) 6-1 6-0
CROATIA OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:
 Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) defeated Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-2 6-1
[Q] Daniel Altmaier (GER) defeated  Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-2 6-4
 Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated  Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 7-6 2-6 6-1
 Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-3 7-6
MIFEL OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
 Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-3 6-1
Brandon Nakashima (USA) defeated  John Isner (USA) 7-5 6-4
Picture credit: ATP Tour