Stan Wawrinka, seeking his first title since undergoing two knee surgeries in 2017, subdued Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov 6-4 7-6(4) on Friday in Rotterdam.
The victory sets up an intriguing semifinal with top seed Kei Nishikori at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Nishikori took a step closer to claiming his second title of the year by defeating Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-3 6-2.
— ABN AMRO WTT (@abnamrowtt) February 15, 2019
Swiss wildcard Wawrinka broke for a 5-4 lead in the opening set and sealed the win in a well-mastered tiebreak.
“Physically I feel really good, and I’m moving and feeling better match after match,” said Wawrinka.
“Tonight was a tough match. I had to really fight at the end. I was a bit nervous at the end of the match. We had some long rallies. It’s good to see that I can keep being there, mentally, physically.”
The victory sends Wawrinka into his first ATP semifinal since St Petersburg in September last year – and just his second in the past 12 months – and is expected to propel him back inside the world’s top 50.
In other results, Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev dismantled Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-2.
He will face another Frenchman in Gael Monfils, who beat Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-2.
Medvedev and Tsonga both carried seven-match winning streaks into the contest, after winning last week’s ATP titles in Sofia and Montpellier respectively.
Yet it was the Russian youngster again coming out on top; he also beat Tsonga in straight sets in the Brisbane International semifinals in January.
“It feels a little strange as I don’t think I played that well, but I managed to work hard,” Medvedev told atpworldtour.com.
Medvedev has now won his last eight matches in a row, and 14 of 16 matches this season.
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