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Basilashvili upends Tsitsipas in Indian Wells to make first Masters 1000 semi
The Georgian will take on either American Taylor Fritz in the semis on Saturday
Until this year, Nikoloz Basilashvili had never won a match in the main draw in Indian Wells. Now he’s into the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career.
The 29-year-old thundered his way through the first set and though Stefanos Tsitsipas hit back in the second, he held his nerve in the third, taking advantage of a double fault from the Greek in the seventh game and finishing things off in style for a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory.
Ranked 36 but twice a title-winner in 2021, Basilashvili will now play either American Taylor Fritz, who upset Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, in the semi-finals.
This is the first time Basilashvili has beaten a top-three player and the omens are good; this is the fourth time he’s beaten three top-50 players in his career and on each occasion, he’s gone on to win the tournament.
“I played really great matches this tournament – I was not that happy how I played today but I was happy how I managed my stress levels,” Basilashvili said. “It means a lot. I’m working hard, I’ve been playing really well. I’ve had a lot of mentally tough moments and for me to overcome these moments is really important.”
Basilashvili was by far the better player in the first set but Tsitsipas looked to have turned things around when he won the second, blocking more returns and forcing the errors from the Georgian.
But a slack opening game of the third set gave Basilashvili the early break and the momentum and though the world No 3 hit back to lead 3-2, two games later, he double-faulted to hand Basilashvili the break again.
This time there was to be no comeback from Tsitsipas, who mishit several balls as the Georgian clinched victory and a place in the semi-finals.