Greece’s young tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas put in an outstanding performance on Friday at the Citi Open, winning eight consecutive games to reach the semi-finals over No. 10 seed Benoit Paire of France 7-5, 6-0.
“I’m glad that I played well today,” said Tsitsipas. “I think I closed out the second set very professionally, very aggressively. I think that’s good for me psychologically. I didn’t give him much pace to play with and that played a big part overall.”
Paire has been in top form this season, winning titles in Marrakech (d. Andjuar) and Lyon (d. Auger-Aliassime). The 30-year-old hung tough with the #NextGenATP Greek in the opening set and matched his power from the baseline, but the top seed raised his level when it mattered most. At 5-5, Tsitsipas won eight consecutive points to grab the early advantage.
When play resumed, Tsitsipas won 15 of the next 20 points to advance in 75 minutes.
Tsitsipas will now take on Greek Australian Nick Kyrgios, after teaming up with him the Aussie this week in doubles. Kyrgios produced a great performance to defeat Slovakian Norbert Gombos 6-3, 6-3.
The semi-final match is taking place later today and is expected to be a very entertaining game.
Greece’s No.7 seed Maria Sakkari has also made it into the semi-final in the US, after pulling off an incredible comeback against top seed Elina Svitolina to become the second semifinalist at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.
Trailing 6-1, 5-2, Sakkari saved three match points to force a decider, and later came from a break down to seal an improbable 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 comeback over the top seed in the last eight.
“I was one step away from losing,” Sakkari said after the match. “I’m very excited that I managed to turn the score around and be back in the semifinal here in San Jose. I have great memories from last year, so it’s super nice to be back.”
Sakkari will take on China’s unseeded Zheng Saisai for a place in her second final of the season.