By Alessandro Mastroluca
- Daniel Evans (GBR) def.  Andrey Rublev (RUS) 6-2, 7-6(9)
- Daniel Evans v Stefanos Tsitsipas  | No H2H
DUBAI, UAE – Dan Evans fought to beat Andrey Rublev and move into his first ATP 500 semifinal. He will face StefanosTsitsipas, bidding for his fourth Top 10 win.
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Daniel Evans (GBR) def.  Andrey Rublev (RUS) 6-2, 7-6(9)
After saving three match points against Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the deciding set tiebreak, Dan Evans frustrated Russian Andrey Rublev moving through his fourth ATP Tour semi-final, and his first at ATP 500-level.
The British No.1, projected to climb into the Top 30 for the first time, recovered from 1-3 down in the second set and first served for the match at 5-4. But he made a mess of that game and lost his serve without reaching a match point. He manages to stay calm in the ensuing tiebreak, as he saved two set points and wasted his first two chances to seal the win. He remained aggressive and balanced and clinched his fifth Top 20 victory in eight clashes in 2020.
The World No.37 has previously reached tour-level semi-finals at 2014 Zagreb (semi-final), 2017 Sydney (final) and 2019 Delray Beach (final) at ATP 250 events.
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Daniel Evans v Stefanos Tsitsipas  | First meeting
Evans carved up Rublev mixing venomous sliced backhands with aggressive groundstrokes aimed at his opponent’s forehand. The same strategy could surely help him in the semifinal clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The No.2 seed had to dig deep to beat hard-hitting Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-4. The 2019 runner-up hit 31 winners — 10 fewer than Struff (41) — recording his 10th match win of 2020.
The Greek had won 12 consecutive sets going back to his second-round victory at Marseille, before losing the opening set against the German, who suffered the 13th loss in 20 ATP quarter-final appearances.
During the whole 2019 campaign, Tsitsipas learned how to dictate play with his forehand. His main quality often emerges during crucial points. His quick footwork can balance his relative instability when he prepares to hit, particularly off the backhand side.
Evans could turn it into his own advantage if he manages to change the pace and lower the bounces against Tsitsipas’ backhand. On the other side, he will need to protect his own backhand as his opponent tends to come to the net quite often with an approach shot directed to the left angle.
Self-assured and matured, the Brit has shown some of his best tennis this week. He will need a hand from his opponent, however, to reach the final.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in three sets
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