ATP Hamburg: Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud reach semis



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ATP Hamburg: Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud reach semis

The Rome semi-finalist Casper Ruud will compete in the last four in Hamburg, toppling Ugo Humbert 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 in two hours and 38 minutes. The Norwegian is through to his fourth semi-final of the season, all on clay, getting broken twice and seizing four out of 17 opportunities to cross the finish line first, hitting 33 winners and unforced errors.

The opening two sets lasted for two hours, with Ruud shifting into a higher gear in the decider to move over the top and grab the season's 20th victory. They traded breaks in games five and six in the opener to stay neck and neck and prolong the set for over an hour.

The tenth game offered six deuces and two set points for Humbert on the return, with Ruud fending off both after a brave hitting to level the score at 5-5. The Norwegian grabbed a break to move 6-5 in front, holding at love with a smash winner for a 7-5 after 64 minutes.

Humbert moved in front with a break in the fourth game of the second set thanks to a backhand winner, surviving all five break chances in games five and seven and sealing the set with an ace at 5-3 to force a decider. There, Casper saved a break point in the first game of the final set and grabbed a break at love in game two to forge the advantage.

Ugo lost the ground completely, netting a forehand to give serve away and 1-4 and allowing Ruud to seal the deal on serve and reach the semis. Cristian Garin survived a barrage of underarm serves from a lucky loser Alexander Bublik, scoring a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 54 minutes.

The champion from Cordoba and Rio de Janeiro won three points more than the Kazakh, fending off six out of eight break chances and prevailing with a single break in games two and three. Bublik made a strong start, earning breaks in games one and nine to clinch the opener 6-3.

Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas will try to reach Hamburg final.

Garin bounced back at the beginning of the second, surviving two tough service games to take the set 6-4 and playing on a high level in the decider to seal the deal with a single break in game five.

The 5th seed Andrey Rublev toppled the 4th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 31 minutes, earning the 23rd victory in 2020. Andrey suffered three breaks and dominated the return to secure six and control the pace, firing 30 winners and 18 unforced errors to leave the newly-promoted dad behind and enter the semis.

The Russian was all over the Spaniard in the first set, gathering three breaks and bringing it home with a volley winner at 5-2. From 4-2 down in set number two, Bautista Agut rattled off three straight game to open a 5-4 advantage, only to suffer a break at 5-5 after a forced error.

Serving for the victory, Andrey earned a match point with a volley winner, moving over the top with another from his serve to advance into the semis. After early exits at the US Open and Rome, the 2nd seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to his first semi-final since Cincinnati, beating Dusan Lajovic 7-6, 6-2 in an hour and 36 minutes.

Winning 16 out of 20 points behind the second serve, Stefanos saved six out of seven break chances, delivering three breaks and passing a stern test in the opener before a more relaxed set number two. Trailing 5-3, Tsitsipas rattled off four straight points in the tie break for 7-5, gathering momentum and stealing Lajovic's serve thrice in a row in the second set to march into the last four.

Photo credit: Hamburg European Open/Alexander Scheuber