© ATP Umag 2018

Robin Haase ousts defending champion Andrey Rublev to reach his second tour-level semi-final of the season.

Haase Ousts Defending Champ Rublev

Dutchman pursuing first title since 2012

Robin Haase ousted defending champion Andrey Rublev 6-3, 7-6(6) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag on Friday to reach his second tour-level semi-final of the season.

The sixth seed won 81 per cent of first-serve points and saved six of the seven break points he faced to defeat the #NextGenATP Russian, who was competing in his first event since April due to a lower-back stress fracture. Haase, the World No. 38, is pursuing his first ATP World Tour title since the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel six years ago. The Dutch No. 1’s only other triumph came at the same tournament in 2011.

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Next, the 31-year-old will face Argentine Guido Pella, who beat Serbian Dusan Lajovic 7-6(3), 7-5 in one hour, 41 minutes. Pella is fresh off of a third-round appearance at Wimbledon, where he came from two sets down to defeat Marin Cilic.

In the other semi-final, qualifier Marco Trungelliti defeated Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-1, 6-4 in one hour, 13 minutes to make his maiden tour-level semi-final. Before arriving in Croatia, the Argentine had never advanced to the quarter-finals at an ATP World Tour event.

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Trungelliti will face the winner Italian Marco Cecchinato, who ousted Serbian Laslo Djere 6-4, 6-1 in one hour, 22 minutes. This year's Gazprom Hungarian Open winner and Roland Garros semi-finalist is into his fourth tour-level semi-final of the season. Entering the 2018 season, he had just four tour-level match wins.

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