© Chengdu Open

Alexander Bublik celebrates saving two set points to beat Grigor Dimitrov on Friday in Chengdu.

Bublik Saves 2 M.P. In Chengdu To Deny Dimitrov Milestone Win

Kazakhstani to play Lloyd in semi-finals

Alexander Bublik saved two match points at the Chengdu Open on Friday to advance to the second ATP Tour semi-final of his career.

The 22-year-old Kazakhstani hit 35 aces to beat fourth-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 5-7, 7-6(9), 7-6(3) in two hours and 32 minutes at the ATP 250 tournament. It denied Dimitrov his 300th match win.

“It’s been a good week for me, and beating Grigor is a great achievement for me,” said Bublik. “The second set tie-break was tough, I never thought about being match points down, but just playing my own game and serving well.”

Bublik saved two match points at 6/7 and 8/9 in the second set tie-break, which he clinched on his third set point. He then won the first three games of the deciding set and held a 4-1 advantage, before Dimitrov battled back to 4-4 and saved one match point at 4-5, 30/40. Bublik won the first five points of the deciding set tie-break.

World No. 71 Bublik has now hit 73 aces in three matches at the ATP 250 tournament – including 25 aces against Taylor Fritz in the first round, 13 aces against Jordan Thompson in the second round. He will next face South African lucky loser Lloyd Harris.

Bublik advanced to his first ATP Tour final in July at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport (l. to Isner) and is now 13-10 on the season. Dimitrov reached his third Grand Slam championship semi-final earlier this month at the US Open (l. to Medvedev).

Harris struck 27 aces and won 53 of 61 first-service points in beating Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours for a place in his first ATP Tour semi-final.

"It feels unbelievable right now," said Harris, who had lost to Bradley Klahn in the final round of qualifying. "I have been playing extremely well since getting into the main draw and I am really finding my tennis. I think the courts are good for the big-servers, especially when the sun is out." 

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