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By Alberto Amalfi | @Tennis_Now | Friday, April 19, 2024


Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points out-dueling left-hander Facundo Diaz Acosta 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8) to battle into his third Barcelona semifinal.

Photo credit: Barcelona Open BancSabadell – Trofeo Conde de Godo Facebook

Pushed to the edge of elimination, Stefanos Tsitsipas showed strong survival skills and dedicated mountain-climbing to keep his Barcelona dream alive.

Tsitsipas saved two match points out-dueling left-hander Facundo Diaz Acosta 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8) to battle into his third Barcelona semifinal.

More: The Greatest Men Clay-Court Champions of All Time

Empowered by his inspired run to his third Monte-Carlo Masters championship on Sunday, Tsitsipas had to dig down deep today.

It is Tsitsipas' ninth consecutive clay-court victory and it didn't come easy.

In fact, Tsitsipas said his comeback felt like he was climbing a red dirt mountain. 

"I was coming close [to losing] at certain moments in the match. It seemed like a mountain," Tsitsipas said afterward. "I reminded myself that I have a headband that I wear here that has a mountain and that I need to climb it, so it kept me going.

"It was difficult. It was extremely difficult to sustain the same level throughout the entire match and I think he played incredible. I think he left everything out there. He is a good clay-court player. He has a title on the ATP Tour for a reason and today it was a level he was able to bring out on the court that made it quite obvious."

Tsitsipas served for the semifinal at 5-4, but Diaz Acosta broke to level then held to edge ahead 6-5.

Serving at 5-6, the Greek double faulted to face the first match point.

On match point, Diaz Acosta had a good look at a forehand down the line, but spun that shot wide.

The 23-year-old Argentinean was playing his lefty forehand crosscourt to the Greek’s one-handed backhand.

The fifth-seeded Tsitsipas ran around his backhand and blasted a beautiful inside-out forehand strike prompting a “Bueno” from Diaz Acosta as he held to force the tiebreaker.

Diaz Acosta built a 5-3 lead in the breaker, but betrayed his own cause with a couple of double faults.

A bold inside-in forehand gave Tsitsipas his first match point, but he missed a backhand wide.

Diaz Acosta spiked a smash for a second match point at 7-6, but Tsitsipas smacked a biting serve to save it.

Bending so low his knees nearly touched the dirt, Tsitsipas scooped a slick low backhand volley winner for a second match point at 8-7 only to see Diaz Acosta hammer a brilliant inside-out forehand to deny it.

The second Diaz Acosta double fault of the breaker gave Tsitsipas a third match point.

This time, he coaxed an error to end it falling flat on his back in joy.

Continuing his quest for his first ATP 500-level championship, Tsitsipas will play either 16th-seeded Frenchman Arthur Fils or Serbian Dusan Lajovic for a spot in Sunday's final.


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