Making a debut at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, world no. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated another young gun Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4 in less than 70 minutes. Stefanos will now face Novak Djokovic in the semi-final on Friday, with the second quarter-final clash between Karen Khachanov and Hyeon Chung coming later today.
The Greek player controlled the pace all the time, fending off the only two break points he faced and stealing the Russian's serve once in each set to advance into the last four. Competing in Abu Dhabi for the second time as a replacement for Daniil Medvedev, Rublev couldn't match the rival's pace or create more damage in the return games, reaching only one deuce behind Stefanos' initial shot and not being able to deliver the same numbers in his games.
Tsitsipas held with an ace in the first game and forced an error from the opponent to grab a break in game two and open an early lead, cementing the advantage with a service winner in game three to move 3-0 up. Andrey fended off two break chances in the sixth game with some brave hitting, remaining within one break deficit and earning a chance to pull the break back a few minutes later.
Staying calm, the Greek erased those with two great attacks, sealing the opening set after a service winner at 5-3 for a promising start. Rublev remained competitive in set number two despite not gaining much on the return, delivering four good holds but suffering one break that cost him the match.
Stefanos broke in the fifth game when his rival sprayed a forehand error, confirming it with a service winner in the next game and moving over the top with an ace in game ten that propelled him into the next round.