Stefanos Tsitsipas attempts to reach his second straight Dubai final when he faces Great Britain's Daniel Evans on Friday.
Tsitsipas vs Evans is live from Dubai in Friday, 28 February from 5:00pm local time/ 1:00pm GMT
Tsitsipas is also seeking back-to-back tour finals, following on from his title run in Marseille last week. The Greek young gun is currently on a seven-match winning streak, having added three more victories in Dubai to the four he registered in Marseille.
The world No. 6 began his week with a 7-6 6-1 victory over Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta, before taking out Alexander Bublik for the second consecutive week to move into the quarter finals. However, his run of consecutive sets was snapped at 12 after he dropped the opening set in his Dubai quarter final against big-hitting German, Jan-Lennard Struff on Thursday.
Tsitsipas fought back from that deficit to come through a two-hour 23-minute examination, securing a hard-fought 4-6 6-4 6-4 victory to a two-match losing streak against the German, and move into his second semi-final of the season, and his second straight Dubai semi-final.
“I had to give it my all,” said Tsitsipas, who struck 31 winners on the day. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, as he’d beaten me a couple of times. I fought, I suffered on the court and I am really happy and proud to have kept the winning mindset and managed to get the break at the end.”
The Greek’s current run mirrors his efforts at the same period last season, when he won Marseille and made the Dubai final, which he lost to Roger Federer. That runner-up finish in Dubai earned him a berth in the top ten for the first time in his career. He added titles in Estoril and the Nitto ATP Finals to his 2019 collection, and ended a terrific campaign at No. 6 in the world. He made a slow start to 2020, going 1-2 at the ATP Cup, and falling before the quarter finals at the Australian Open and Rotterdam, but he’s got a move on in the last couple of weeks in Marseille and Dubai.
Can he record an eight consecutive victory when he faces Dan Evans on Friday?
Evans is into his fourth tour-level semi-final, but this is his first at ATP 500 level. The British No. 1 has had to work really hard for his semi-final berth, fighting back from a set and break down to beat Fabio Fognini 3-6 6-4 7-5 in the first round (Fognini also twice led by a break in the final set), saving three match point in a gritty 7-5 3-6 7-6 victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round, before taking down the in-form Russian, Andrey Rublev 6-2 7-6 in the third. All three matches went over two hours.
Evans trailed 3-1 in the second set against Rublev, but he won the next five games, and served for the match at 5-4. However, Rublev broke back to even a topsy-turvy set, and even held a couple of set points in the tie break, but Evans would not be denied, as the Brit converted his third match point to close out the 20-point breaker and take the match.
“I made a mess of some of the match points, especially my service game at 5-4 [in the second set],” said Evans. “I just stayed in there and knew I’d get my chances. I’m very happy with the way I played. Staying calm is the key, also getting the right balance and being aggressive with my feet. I’m happy to come through and I’ll prepare for tomorrow.”
Evans is into his first semi-final of the season, having fallen at the quarter final hurdles in Adelaide and Rotterdam. Only once has he failed to make at least the quarter finals this season- at the Australian Open, where he was beaten by Yoshihito Nishioka in the second round. He also had a decent ATP Cup, winning three of his four singles matches to help Great Britain reach the quarter finals.
Currently ranked 37th in the world, Evans has touched a career-high No. 31 this season, and he’s projected to break into the top-30 for the first time by virtue of this Dubai run. Can he extend an excellent run by taking down second seed, Tsitsipas in their first ever meeting on Friday?