Inspired Jaziri Gets To Semis

Malek Jaziri

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, UAE 

Men’s Quarterfinals: [82] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. [117] Malek Jaziri (TUN)

Do not be deceived by his ranking, despite never winning a title, Jaziri has threatened the top guys over his fifteen year career. However, like so many of his colleagues, his ranking has suffered because of injury and the passage of time. Once ranked in the top fifty, the Tunisian is currently struggling in the minor leagues of the ATP Challenger circuit.

Jaziri needed a wildcard for this tournament and he has made good use of his opportunity. He seems inspired and is producing some of his best tennis, which has resulted in his best showing at an ATP World Tour event in a very long time. He is hoping he will be able to continue with this form to get to his first singles final and potentially his first title. However, he first had to get by Tsitsipas today, one of the crop of talented young NextGen stars flooding the Tour.

Jaziri took the first set and then seemed to hit a wall physically. The young Greek took over control in the second set when Jaziri failed to capitalize on his break opportunity. Tsitsipas has his elder opponent running from side to side. Just when it seemed that Jaziri had nothing left, he capitalized on his one break point opportunity in the deciding set. Spurred on by the crowd, he managed to serve it out to get another mentally and physically demanding three set victory (6-4, 3-6, 6-3). The difference was the first serve, the player with the lower first serve percentage in each set, lost the set.

He will play the number three seed in the semifinals, Roberto Bautista Agut. This will be another battle as the Spaniard rarely beats himself; however, perhaps the Tunisian has extra incentive.

SOURCE OF IMAGE: (Tom Dulat/Getty Images Europe: Malek Jaziri)

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