Qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp thought he played a great and smart match against Andrey Rublev in the St. Petersburg Open quarterfinal. Van de Zandschulp, ranked at No. 69 in the world, handed a 6-3 6-4 loss to Rublev to progress into his maiden ATP semifinal.
Van de Zandschulp saved two consecutive break points in the second game before earning the first break of the match in the fifth game. Van de Zandschulp then earned his second break of the match in the ninth game to win the opener.
After losing the first set, Rublev took an early 3-1 lead in the second set. Rublev saved four break points in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, before van de Zandschulp earned back-to-back breaks to win four games in a row and seal a straight-set win.
"First time in the semis. It feels amazing," van de Zandschulp said in his on-court interview. "I played a great match, played a smart match, [and I am] so happy to be through."
Van de Zandschulp plays Marin Cilic next
Van de Zandschulp will be fighting former world No.
3 Cilic for a place in the St. Petersburg final. Last week, Cilic ended runner-up in Moscow. "He made the final last week in Moscow," van de Zandschulp said of Cilic. "He’s playing great at the moment, and I think it’s going to be an interesting match."
Cilic claiamed big win on Friday as he beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 3-6 6-3 to reach his third St. Petersburg semifinal.n "Today was a difficult match mentally, very, very different from yesterday,” Cilic said in his on-court interview.
“During the match I was a lot up and down and I felt that I didn’t have great rhythm. But I felt that continuously I was making chances and I just had to stay mentally in the match”.