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ATP Tour: Tsitsipas saves two match points to win, advances to semifinals at Barcelona

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ATP Tour: Tsitsipas saves two match points to win, advances to semifinals at Barcelona

Barcelona, April 20 (IANS) Greece superstar Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a major scare against Facundo Diaz Acosta of Argentina at the Barcelona Open, saving two match points to earn a dramatic three-set victory to advance to the semifinals.

Tsitsipas defeated Diaz Acosta 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8) in a quarterfinal clash on Friday evening and said it was “extremely difficult to sustain the same level throughout the entire match”. The Greek player said he came close to losing the match at certain moments and reminded himself that he wore a headband that had a mountain and that he had to climb it. “So, it kept me going,” Tsitsipas said after the match.

In a thrilling two-hour, 31-minute clash, Tsitsipas had the chance to serve out the match at 5-4 in the third set but hit two double faults in the game as Diaz Acosta broke back. The Argentine then failed to convert a match point on the Greek’s serve at 5-6, before both players saved match points in the third-set tie-break.

With little to separate them, it was Tsitsipas who stood tall on Pista Rafa Nadal, saving another match point at 6/7 in the tie-break before he converted on his third opportunity to triumph. After his ninth win in a row, the fifth seed collapsed to the court in delight before he rose to his feet to embrace Diaz Acosta, who served two costly double faults in the tie-break. Tsitsipas is chasing his second title of the season, having captured his third Monte-Carlo Masters crown last week. He is up one spot to No. 7 in the ATP Live Rankings.

The 25-year-old, who is a three-time finalist in Barcelona, holds a 28-2 record against players ranked outside the Top 20 in the ATP Rankings on clay since the start of 2022. He will look to maintain that record when he meets No. 59 Dusan Lajovic in the semifinals on Saturday. Lajovic overcame Frenchman Arthur Fils 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to reach his eighth tour-level semifinal and just his second since 2020. The World No. 59, who is a two-time tour-level champion, is the lowest-ranked semifinalist in Barcelona since then-World No. 63 Tsitsipas in 2018.

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