Geneva, May 24 (IANS) Top-seeded German Alexander Zverev edged past Bolivia's Hugo Dellien 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the Geneva Open and stay in the running for his first title of 2019.
It marks just the second time this season that Zverev, who has struggled since capturing the biggest title of his career at the ATP Finals last November, has advanced to a tournament's final four, reports Efe news.
On Thursday, Zverev needed his potent first serve against his 92nd-ranked opponent, whose baseline game appeared better suited to the Geneva Open's red-clay surface.
The German eked out a sloppy first set in which he lost his own serve twice but managed to break Dellien on three occasions.
The storyline of the match was already clear in the opening set, with Zverev barely ceding any points when he put his first serve in play but losing well over half of his second-serve points.
In the second set, Zverev won 11 of his 12 first-serve points but still lost his serve once -- and dropped the set -- due to a 25 per cent winning percentage when having to start the point with a second serve and get into a baseline rally on neutral terms.
In the third set, the German won 23 of his 28 first-serve points but still had to save three break points in the third game to avoid having his serve broken a fourth time by the Bolivian.
That game proved to be the turning point, however, as Zverev broke his opponent's serve in the following game and held on to that advantage until the end of the two-hour, 21-minute match.
Next up for the German in Friday's semifinals will be Argentine world No. 84 Fernando Delbonis, who edged Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 on Thursday.
Friday's first Geneva Open semifinal will pit Chilean world No. 75 Nicolas Jarry against Moldova's Radu Albot.