Tsitsipas Wears Down Krajinovic In Basel Thriller
Stefanos Tsitsipas dug deep to produce some of his best tennis on Friday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. The third-seeded Greek weathered an inspired start from Serbian Filip Krajinovic to prevail 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in their quarter-final clash.
Tsitsipas finished the night with 38 winners to just 26 unforced errors. The 21-year-old has won 10 of his past 12 matches, finishing runner-up in Beijing (l. to Thiem) and defeating Novak Djokovic en route to a semi-final showing at the Rolex Shanghai Masters.
Awaiting him in the semi-finals is top seed and nine-time Basel champion Roger Federer, who advanced when fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka withdrew due to a back injury. The pair are tied 1-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, with Tsitsipas prevailing at the Australian Open and Federer getting revenge in the Dubai final.
Krajinovic, runner-up last week in Stockholm (l. to Shapovalov), continued his strong form indoors in the opening set. He broke Tsitsipas twice, was flawless on net points (6/6) and only gave the Greek three unforced errors. Krajinovic let out a roar after Tsitsipas sent a forehand wide to give the Serbian an early advantage after 33 minutes.
Tsitsipas adjusted his tactics in the second set, standing further behind the baseline and adding more height to his shots in a bid to prolong the rallies. The strategy worked as Krajinovic began to leak errors from his forehand. The third seed broke serve at 1-1 in the second set and held the slight advantage, rifling a forehand winner on set point to bring the match to a decider.
Both men traded service breaks to start the final set, but Krajinovic began to feel the effects of playing eight matches over the past 10 days. Tsitsipas noticed the Serbian starting to tire and pounced, earning another break at 3-3 as he rode the momentum to victory after one hour and 53 minutes.