6th-world player Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece won a nearly two-and-a-half-hour fight against German Jan-Lennard Struff (N.34) on Thursday and qualified for the semi-finals of the ATP 500 tournament in Dubai.
Winner 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, the recent winner of the Marseille tournament will face Briton Daniel Evans for a place in the final.
“It was very tight, I was a little tired today,” said Tsitsipas after the match. But “this match was important to me, so I tried to hide it,” he said.
Solid on their face-off, Tsitsipas and Struff went back to back, especially in the last heat, but it was ultimately the German who cracked first by conceding his service game at 4-4 in the 3rd set.
His opponent confirmed the break-in stride to spin in the semi-finals and put the counter of Struff-Tsitsipas confrontations tied (two wins each).
Earlier, Evans won the first ticket to the semi-finals.
The Briton won 6-2, 7-6 (11/9) against Russian Andrey Rublev, the sixth-seeded in the UAE tournament.
“It was difficult (…) I just didn’t want to play the third set, I think that’s what made the difference” in the second set, said the 37th world player.
In the evening, the world No.1 Novak Djokovic and the French Gaël Monfils (N.9) will try to win the last two sesames for the last four, respectively against the Russian Karen Khachanov and the French Richard Gasquet.
The Serb has won the Dubai tournament four times (2009-2011 and 2013), and Gaël Monfils remains on a series of eleven victories in a row at the time of facing his compatriot.