HAMBURG, Germany: Stefanos Tsitsipas reached his first clay-court semifinal in 16 months on Friday after beating Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (5), 6-2 at the Hamburg Open, the last tune-up before the French Open.
The sixth-ranked Greek was 5-3 down in the opening-set tiebreak but won four points in a row to take the set and followed up by breaking Lajovic’s serve three times in a row at the start of the second.
That put Tsitsipas up against a clay specialist in the semis. Chilean player Christian Garin has two clay-court titles already in 2020 from back-to-back tournament wins in Cordoba and Rio de Janeiro in February, but he had to recover from a set down in his quarterfinal on Friday.
Garin beat Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 after responding to losing the first set by breaking Bublik in the opening game of the second.
The other semifinal will pit Andrey Rublev against Casper Ruud.
The fifth-seeded Rublev produced a minor upset to eliminate fourth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 7-5 after a topsy-turvy second set saw Bautista Agut twice recover from a break down.
Ruud won his quarterfinal against Ugo Humbert 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. For Ruud it was his fourth quarterfinal of the season, all on clay, and his fourth win. The Norwegian’s three previous wins yielded a title in Buenos Aires, a loss in the Santiago final and a semifinal defeat to Novak Djokovic last week in Rome.
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