19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas demolished world number seven Dominic Thiem, beating the Austrian 6-3 6-2 to make the semifinals of the Barcelona Open.
The Greek did not get off to a good start, getting broken in the first game of the match. The Austrian would go on to take a 1-3 lead, but Tsitsipas would be able to turn it around and win five consecutive games to come back and take the set 6-3.
The second set began with both players holding serve a couple of times, before Tsitsipas would break Thiem’s serve to take a 3-2 lead. Tsitsipas would win the last 14 points of the match to take it convincingly, 6-3 6-2, and book his place in the semifinals. This win would prove to be the third time lucky for Tsitsipas, having lost his two previous matches against Thiem.
This is Tsitsipas’ second career top 10 win, having beaten world number 10 David Goffin in Antwerp last October. This is also his second career semifinal on the ATP tour, and he will hope to reach his first final, as he will now face world number 11 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain. The two will battle it out tomorrow, with the winner likely to go up against world number one Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final.
Tsitsipas has now won four matches in Barcelona, all in straight sets. In addition to beating Thiem, he also routed world number 17 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in the second round, 6-2 6-1. Regardless of what happens in the next match, this has been a breakthrough tournament for the young Greek. Even with a loss in the semifinal, he will have gained 180 ranking points, moving up from his current ranking of 63 (a career-high) to either 51 or 52 (depending on other results). A win in Saturday’s semifinal would see him add an additional 120 ranking points, which would place him into the top 45.
by Andrew Stamas
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