ATP Madrid: Stefanos Tsitsipas joins Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz in semis
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 3626
The 2019 Madrid finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to his second semi-final in Caja Magica. The Greek defeated Andrey Rublev 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in an hour and 59 minutes in the quarter-final and scored the fifth triumph over the Russian from nine encounters.
Tsitsipas fired ten aces and defended three out of five break points. Rublev earned his return games in the second set, but it was not enough for the triumph after losing serve once in sets one and three. Stefanos created seven return opportunities and seized those two to emerge at the top and continue where he left in Monte Carlo in April.
Both players had more winners than unforced errors, and we saw 51 service winners on the fast clay in Caja Magica. Tsitsipas experienced only one loose service game in sets one and three, fending off two match points while serving for the victory in the decider's tenth game.
Stefanos converted the fifth break point in the encounter's second game after Andrey's poor challenge to grab an early advantage.
Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Andrey Rublev in three sets in Madrid.
The servers were too strong in the remaining seven games, dropping under ten points and offering no chances to the returners.
Tsitsipas held everything under control in his games, and he closed the opener with an ace in game nine for 6-3 in 37 minutes. Rublev almost wasted a 40-0 lead at the beginning of the second set, and he held after deuces to avoid further issues.
The Russian took charge from game five and rattled off four in a row to wrap up the set in style and improve his chances. Andrey created break points with a forehand down the line winner in the sixth game and seized the first after Stefanos' drop shot mistake to open a 4-2 gap.
Rublev cracked a backhand down the line winner at 5-2 for the second break in a row and a boost ahead of the decider. Stefanos started all over in the final set and barely lost a point behind the initial shot in the opening four service games to keep the pressure on the other side.
Rublev stayed on the positive side after three deuces in games one and three and made a more comfortable hold at 2-2. Andrey erased a break point in game seven with a forehand drive-volley winner and closed it with another mighty forehand for 4-3.
Tsitsipas held at love in 74 seconds in game eight and broke the opponent at love with a forehand down the line winner in the next one to create the crucial advantage. Serving for the victory in game ten, Tsitsipas faced two break points and denied them with two winners.
The Greek fired a forehand winner on his first match point to celebrate the victory and set the semi-final clash against Alexander Zverev or Felix Auger-aliassime.