Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the China Open Final after a straight-set victory over Alexander Zverev at the China Open.
Tsitsipas, ranked seventh in the world, beat his sixth-ranked German opponent 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in one hour 51 minutes.
The 21-year-old was forced to save three consecutive set points at 3/6 in the first-set tie-break and almost let a 5-1 lead slip in the second set, before converting his sixth match point. Tsitsipas, who improves to 42-20 at tour-level this season, is now through to his fifth tour-level championship match of the year (2-2) following his one-hour, 51-minute victory.
“I didn’t play phenomenal, but I played smart. Smart is more important than phenomenal,” said Tsitsipas. “I did things right when I had to do them, I didn’t go for crazy shots or crazy targets. I just mixed the game. I was hanging in there and trying to suffer, trying to give it my all on the court, to play another five hours. That was the mindset I was on,” Tsitsipas told ATP Tour.
He will now face Austrian top seed Dominic Thiem, who beat Karen Khachanov, in the other semi-final on Sunday.
“He’s in good form. He’s playing well. I just have to be serving well, playing well from behind, coming in. It’s important for me to stay focused on the crucial moments, in the moments where things are going to be decided in a few points,” Tsitsipas noted.