Tsitsipas Beats Lajovic To Reach Hamburg SFs

Greek to face Garin for shot at third final of 2020

Stefanos Tsitsipas recorded his second straight win over Dusan Lajovic on Friday for a place in the Hamburg European Open semi-finals. The second seed recovered from 3/5 down in the first set tie-break en route to a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory in one hour and 38 minutes.

"It was a perfect day, sunny, good people, good atmosphere and good clay,” said Tsitsipas, in an on-court interview. "Dusan is a difficult opponent to play on clay, with a lot of spin and variation in his shots. I think I had to do something extra for the victory today. I will keep working hard.”

The 22-year-old Greek, who captured the fifth ATP Tour title of his career in February at the Open 13 Provence (d. Auger-Aliassime), will now face Cristian Garin on Saturday.

In a high-quality and entertaining first set, which saw Tsitsipas save three break points — one in the fifth game and two in the seventh game — it was Lajovic who took a 5/3 lead in the tie-break, only to see his Greek opponent win four straight points, courtesy of excellent footwork, to complete the 57-minute opener.

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There were three straight service breaks at the start of the second set, which shifted in Tsitsipas’ favour at 1-3, when he hit a forehand approach winner to break. While Tsitsipas missed out on two match points on Lajovic’s serve at 5-1, the World No. 6 made sure at the third time of asking for his 21st win in 29 matches this year.

Garin recovered from a set down to book his place in the semi-finals, beating Alexander Bublik 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. The Chilean saved six of eight break points throughout the one-hour, 54-minute contest to reach his third semi-final of the year.

During February’s ‘Golden Swing’, Garin won back-to-back titles on clay at the Cordoba Open and the Rio Open presented by Claro. The World No. 22 has won all of his four ATP Tour crowns on the red dirt and now will need to get past second seed Tsitsipas if he is to reach his sixth tour-level championship match on the surface (4-1). Garin and Tsitsipas will be meeting for the first time at tour-level in Hamburg.

“I am so happy to be in the semi-finals,” said Garin. “Hamburg, for me, is a really special tournament. I am having a good week and I am playing my best tennis.”

Dodig/Pavic Return To Hamburg Final
Three years after capturing their maiden ATP Tour team trophy at this event, Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic returned to the championship match in Hamburg with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic.

The 2017 champions saved three of four break points en route to a 71-minute victory, improving to 9-1 as a team at the ATP 500. The unseeded pair did not drop a set en route to the 2017 trophy and advanced to the semi-finals last year, where they lost in a Match Tie-break to Koolhof and Robin Haase.

Dodig and Pavic will face Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau or John Peers and Michael Venus for the trophy. The second semi-final is scheduled to take place on Centre Court after the singles semi-finals on Saturday.

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