Frances Tiafoe’s big week in Vienna continued on Friday. A day after stunning Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets, the American upended Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 7-6(6).
Tiafoe nearly gave it back blowing a 5-1 lead in the second, but held on in the breaker. It’s his fourth Top 10 win since the start of the grass season.
“I was playing great tennis, I was happy where I was at. New balls came and I got a little lackadaisical that game. Then Diego just kind of started locking in,” Tiafoe said. “I started rushing, I started trying to hit everything as hard as I can. It was not fun. I don’t know what to tell you, it was not fun. There was not one part of it that was fun.”
In his first semifinal of 2021 and his first at the ATP 500 level, Tiafoe will take on the hot-handed Jannik Sinner.
The Italian won his seventh straight match – 14 straight sets – easing past Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-1.
“The past couple of weeks indoors I’ve felt well. Obviously we can see that in the results as well, but every match is different,” said Sinner. “I have to stay focused, I have a goal in my head. Obviously a lot of pressure, but it’s all about mental game in this sport and I think I’m doing it in the right way.”
Tournament favorite Alexander Zverev won his second straight 3-setter topping Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Zverev, who has won 23 of his last 25 matches, broke the Canadian in a lengthy game at 3-2.
The German will meet the youngster from Spain Carlos Alcaraz. The 18-year-old edged Matteo Berrettini in a final set breaker 6-1, 6-7(2), 7-6(5) for his second career Top 10 win.
“This is one of my best performances on Tour so far,” Alcaraz said. “I am really happy for that and it was amazing. I just tried to play aggressively all the time. In the tough moments it was important to be able to do that.”
Zverev rolled Alcaraz 6-3, 6-1 in Acapulco earlier this year in this only meeting.
“He has improved a lot,” Zverev said looking ahead. “He has made big steps forward and is a great player, so I am looking forward to that match.”
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