Hamburg (dpa) – World tennis champion Stefanos Tsitsipas has reached the final of the European Open during its premiere in Hamburg.

But the number two seeded Greek had to fight much more in the semifinals on Saturday than in the days before, before beating strong Chilean Cristian Garin 7: 5, 3: 6, 6: 4 after a first-class match. For the first time during the clay event with 1.2 million euros, Tsitsipas lost a set. After 2.15 hours, the sixth in the world ranking converted his first match point.

This means that the new Hamburg crowd favorite will stay with the tournament until the end. Sunday (12:00) he will meet last year’s finalist Andrei Rublev. The 22-year-old Russian had previously triumphed against the Norwegian Casper Ruud 6: 4, 6: 2. Last year, the 14th in the world rankings had lost the final to Georgian Nikolos Bassilashvili.

“It is the first time that I have reached a final in the same tournament two years in a row,” said Rublev, who has already celebrated two tournament successes this year despite the long Corona break. He does not want to think about the French Open, which also starts on Sunday, but instead focuses entirely on Hamburg: “At the moment it is the most important tournament for me.”

With 24 wins and six defeats, he has the second-best match record on the ATP tour this year after Serbian number one in the world Novak Djokovic. Tsitsipas is number three with 22 wins and eight losses.

Tsitsipas had to fight Garin. In the first set, he bet away a 5: 2 lead, only to get the round at 7: 5. In the second section, he lost his line. The 24-year-old Garin changed his game time and again and got the set 6: 3. In the last round the Chileans got more and more problems with knee and thigh problems. He needed treatment. Tsitsipas stabilized his game again and made the final entry perfect.

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