Tsitsipas saves two match points to reach Barcelona semi-finals

World number seven defeated Diaz Acosta after a tough tie-break to advance in the tournament

AFP April 20, 2024
THRILLING WIN: Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after beating Argentina's Facundo Diaz Acosta during the ATP Barcelona Open "Conde de Godo" tennis tournament singles match at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona. PHOTO: AFP


World number seven Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points to defeat Facundo Diaz Acosta and reach the semi-finals of the Barcelona clay-court tournament on Friday.

The Greek came through 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10/8) after his 53rd-ranked Argentine opponent missed a match point in the 12th game of the deciding set.

Both men then saved more match points in the tie-breaker before Tsitsipas, a three-time runner-up at the Barcelona tournament, secured a ninth successive win following on from his Monte Carlo Masters title victory at the weekend.

"I was coming close to losing at certain moments in the match. It seemed like a mountain," Tsitsipas said. "I reminded myself that I have a headband that I wear here that has a mountain and that I need to climb it, so it kept me going."

He added: "I feel like having so many matches under my belt and faced situations like this helps for sure."

The 25-year-old Tsitsipas will face Dusan Lajovic, the world number 59 from Serbia, in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Lajovic knocked out 36th-ranked Arthur Fils of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in his quarter-final.

Casper Ruud, the world number six from Norway who was runner-up to Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo, eased past Italian Matteo Arnaldi 6-4, 6-3.

"It is not easy. You are playing for a spot in the semi-finals," said Ruud.

"I was able to come through in the end after a few crazy rallies."

Argentinian Tomas Etcheverry also booked his place in the semi-finals with a hard-fought straight sets win over Britain's Cameron Norrie.

Etcheverry, ranked 30 in the world, one place higher Norrie, edged a tight match 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/1) and will face Ruud for a place on the final.

"I spoke to my coach last night and also my team, that I have to play aggressively to win this match," the 24-year-old Etcheverry said.

"The tie-break was key. I played really good in that part of the match."


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