The first set immediately took Tsitsipas a break and came to 2-0. But then he lost several games in a row and ultimately lost the set 6-4. In the second set, the Greek recovered and quickly took a 5-0 lead. Khachanov came back for a while, but the second set was really for Tsitsipas: 6-3.
In the decisive third set, he went right in between. With a score of 5-5, Tsitsipas broke his opponent and he never gave up on his own serve: 7-5. A relief for tournament director Richard Krajicek. Very quickly he lost in the tournament against Daniil Medvedev and last year’s runner-up Felix Auger-Aliassime. Rafael Nadal had canceled just before the tournament.
Tsitsipas has also struggled in his previous two matches at Ahoy. In the first round he won in two long sets and also needed three sets in the second round to avoid elimination.
Tsitsipas is, along with Russian Andrei Rublev, number 4 on the placement list, the only seed in Rotterdam. Rublev will be Tsitsipas’ next opponent on Saturday. The world number 8 fought 7-6 (2) 6-7 (2) 6-4 in front of the French qualifier Jérémy Chardy.
Rublev, who like Tsitsipas was on the track for over two and a half hours, left two match points unused in the second set with a 6-5 lead. Chardy hit an ace twice. In the third set, Rublev quickly ran to 4-0. Chardy, too strong for David Goffin in the previous round, returned to 4-3. However, a new stunt was not possible.
Tsitsipas and Rublev last faced each other in the ATP final last year. Tsitsipas then won 7-6 in the third set.
Coric is Nishikori of Baath
Borna Coric secured a place in the semi-finals without losing a set. World number 26 was Kei Nishikori of Japan in two boss tiebreaks: 7-6 (2) 7-6 (4).
The 24-year-old Coric faced a 4-2 deficit in the second tie-break and won the last five points. He used his first match point after more than two hours as world number 45 Nishikori missed a comeback.
Coric, responsible for eliminating Botic van de Zandschulp in the first round, is competing in Rotterdam for the third time. He lost in the second round in his two previous appearances.
On Saturday, Coric will play in the semi-finals against Hungarian Marton Fucsovics or Tommy Paul of the United States. Coric could become the very first Croatian winner in Ahoy. Compatriots Marin Cilic (2014) and Ivan Ljubicic (2007) lost the final battle.
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