Stefanos Tsitsipas saved three opening set points to derail Alexander Zverev 7-6(6), 6-4 to advance to the Beijing final.
Zverev led the Greek 6-3 in the first set breaker before dropping five straight points. Tsitsipas kept rolling to lead 5-1 in the second then hung on to take it.
“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 will now battle Dominic Thiem Sunday. The top-seeded Thiem was nearly sent home before rallying to beat Karen Khachanov 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-5.
The big Russian lead Thiem 6-2, 5-3 before Thiem stormed back.
“I’m really proud that I was fighting like crazy throughout the whole match because Karen was playing exceptionally well today,” said Thiem. “Quality-wise it was the best of our three matches we had so far.
“I have the feeling that until maybe one and a half sets or until 6-2, 5-3 for him, he was the little bit better player. I only came back into the match because I was fighting, because I was always believing that I can still turn it around. That feels great now.”
The will also puts Thiem back into the London finals. He also leads Tsitsipas 3-2 overall.
“Thiem will be playing with a lot of intensity,” said Tsitsipas or Thiem.. “I’ve played him many times. I know his game consists of a lot of intensity, the power and the speed he puts in every single shot.
“He’s in a 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 in the crucial moments, in the moments where things are going to be decided in a few points.”
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