Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates after winning his men’s singles quarterfinals match against Andrey Rublev of Russia on day 11 of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on October 7 2020 in Paris, France. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/CLIVE BRUNSKILL
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates after winning his men’s singles quarterfinals match against Andrey Rublev of Russia on day 11 of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on October 7 2020 in Paris, France. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/CLIVE BRUNSKILL

Paris — Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas reached his second Grand Slam semifinal as he raised his game after a slow start to defeat Russian Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-2 6-3 at the French Open on Wednesday.

Before the quarterfinal on Court Philippe Chatrier, the 13th-seeded Rublev had won both previous tour-level meetings against fellow 22-year-old Tsitsipas, with their last encounter less than two weeks ago in the final in Hamburg.

The Russian looked set to keep his record intact as he served for the first set at 5-4 but Tsitsipas, who also reached the semifinals at the 2019 Australian Open, then won three straight games to take the opener.

Tsitsipas did not look back from there and broke his opponent three more times in the next two sets to set up a meeting against either world No 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia or Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta.

Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova put on a powerful display to breeze past unseeded German Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-3 on Wednesday to reach her second semifinal at the French Open after a gap of eight years.

The two-times champion at Wimbledon reached the last-four stage on the clay courts at Roland Garros in 2012 and was yet to lose a set at this year’s tournament in Paris, which has lost the top three seeds in the women’s draw.

Roland Garros was where Kvitova made an emotional return to professional tennis three years ago after being sidelined for six months following a burglar attack at her home that left her with severe damage to the nerves and tendons in her left hand.

“It means a lot to me, definitely,” Kvitova said. “I didn’t dream to be in a semifinal after everything that happened. Right now it’s my lucky place, I’m really happy to be here, to play. I really missed it when I was off. I’m happy I’m still able to play and compete with the best.”

Fourth seed Sofia Kenin claimed her maiden French Open semifinal spot as she fought to a 6-4 4-6 6-0 victory against fellow American Danielle Collins. The Australian Open champion was kept on her toes for two sets by an opponent who had beaten her in their previous encounters before strolling through the decider to set up a clash with Kvitova.

Reuters

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