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Semi-final results on Challenger Tour: Shapovalov saves MP against Janowicz for back-to-back finals

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by Jovica Ilic

* Guadalajara, Mexico, $50,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : Mirza Basic extended his great run in Guadalajara, after defeating the top seed yesterday he ousted the 4th seed Jason Jung as well by 6-3 6-3 in 76 minutes, for his 5th Challenger final and the first since Brescia in November 2015. Jung had 9 double faults and he struggled to release the pressure off his second serve, facing 10 break points and losing serve 4 times.

Basic was much more solid in his games, fending off 3 out of 4 break points to cross the finish line in commanding style. It was a slow start for both players, with a lot of deuces in the opening 4 games and exchanged breaks in games 1 and 4.

Basic grabbed 4 out of the final 5 games of the set, including a double break, to cap the set by 6-3, before they both started to play better in set number 2. The games were now quick and fluid and it was decided by one break in game 6, Mirza broke his rival at 15 to open up a 4-2 gap, finishing the match 3 games later on own serve.

In a much more intense battle, 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov advanced to his second Challenger final in a row after a hard-fought 4-6 6-3 7-6 triumph over the former Top 20 player Jerzy Janowicz, saving one match point in the 10th game of the final set. As the result tells, it was a close match (Denis won just 5 points more) but young Canadian had the percentages on his side, firing 12 aces and losing just 7 points behind his first serve.

He defended his second serve well too, facing just 2 break points and dropping serve once, while Janowicz had to fend off 5 out of 6 break opportunities to remain in touch. Jerzy saved 2 break points in the 6th game and he took the last 12 points of the opening set to claim it by 6-4.

Denis had the answer ready, breaking his rival for the first time in the second game of the second set to open up a 2-0 lead that he carried home with superb serving, despite the fact he landed only 38% of the first serve in.

Both players served really well and we saw a lot of winners from every part of the court. Jerzy fends off a break point at the start of the final set and they remained neck and neck until game 10 when Denis had to save that match point.

He did that successfully to remain in contention and he won the tie break by 7-4, finishing the match with a nice serve&volley combination for his 20th Challenger win and the place in his second final. Semi-final results: Mirza Basic (BIH) vs [4]Jason Jung (TPE) 6-3 6-3 [1:16]
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) vs Jerzy Janowicz (POL) 4-6 6-3 7-6(4) [1:51]
* Quanzhou, China, $50,000+H (Outdoor Hard) : After Zhuhai, Italian Thomas Fabbiano advances to another Challenger final (4th overall) in this country when Ilya Ivashka had to retire while trailing 4-0. The match lasted just 26 minutes when Ivashka decided he had enough, as he struggled from the opening game, winning just a few points before he quit.

In the first all-Italian final since Andria in November, Fabbiano will face 20-year-old qualifier Matteo Berrettini who defeated the 5th seed Maximilian Marterer by 6-4 3-6 6-3 for his second Challenger final after that one in Andria when he lost to Luca Vanni. The rivals were engaged in a very tight encounter, Berrettini took just 3 points more than Marterer in the end, but one extra break in the final set made all the difference.

They both had to play against 5 break points and it was Italian who scored 4 breaks, including two in the final set. One loose service game cost Maximilian the opening set, Berrettini broke him in game 9 which was enough for a 6-4 as he had 5 easy holds.

Marterer started to push harder on return in set number 2, stealing rival's serve twice to take the set by 6-3 and force a decider. There, he had an early lead with a break in game 3, but Matteo recovered just in time, scoring 2 breaks in the following two return games to move 4-2 in front, and he closed the match 3 games later.

Semi-final results: [6]Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) vs Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 4-0 Ret. [26]
[Q]Matteo Berrettini (ITA) vs [5]Maximilian Marterer (GER) [6-4 3-6 6-3 [1:47] ALSO READ: Quarter-final results on Challenger Tour: Shapovalov continues great run, will face Janowicz next .

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