Following back-to-back titles in Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Vienna, Andrey Rublev is chasing the fourth straight ATP 500 crown in Rotterdam. The Russian scored the 18th consecutive victory at this competition thanks to a hard-fought 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 triumph over Jeremy Chardy in two hours and 39 minutes.
Rublev won ten points more than Chardy and saved four out of eight break chances while delivering five return games that carried him through. The Russian erased a set point in the opener and wasted two match points on the return at 6-5 in set number two before building a massive advantage in the third set that was enough to send him over the top.
They traded breaks at the beginning of the match and served well until game 12 when Andrey blasted an ace to fend off that set point, gathering momentum and winning the tie break 7-2. Jeremy moved 3-0 up in set number two before Andyre pulled those back to extend the battle and created two match points with a backhand down the line winner at 6-5.
The Frenchman defended those with powerful serves and grabbed the breaker 7-2 following Rublev's backhand error to force a decider. Starting all over, the Russian opened a 4-0 advantage in the third set and served for the victory at 5-4.
Making one last push, Chardy created a break chance that Rublev denied with an unreturned serve, with the Russian seizing the fourth match point thanks to an ace for the place in the semis. Stefanos Tsitsipas had to work hard to beat Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 42 minutes.
Coric, Tsitsipas and Rublev had to work hard to prevail on Friday.
Stefanos lost serve four times and secured five return games, overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the decider and moving over the top just before the tie break.
With those points, the Greek will return into the top-5 on Monday, pushing Roger Federer from the elite group for the first time in two years. From 2-0 down, Karen improved his level to grab the opener 6-4 after converting the fourth set point in game ten.
Tsitsipas raced into a 5-0 lead in set number two and closed it with a hold at 15 in game nine to force a decider, where the momentum slipped away from him. Khachanov forged a 3-1 lead before Tsitsipas erased the deficit in game five and claimed 12 of the final 15 points from 5-4 down to book the semi-final spot.
Borna Coric is through to his first semi-final since St. Petersburg in October thanks to a 7-6, 7-6 victory over Kei Nishikori in two hours and one minute. Borna landed 11 aces and saved eight out of ten break chances, stealing Kei's serve twice and prevailing in both tie breaks to advance without spending more time on the court.
They exchanged breaks in the middle of the opening set, and Coric grabbed the breaker 7-2 for a massive boost. The second set saw early breaks on both sides and reliable serving in the remaining games that introduced the second tie break that Borna won 7-4 to seal the deal.