June 19, 2019
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Zverev advances in Geneva Open, keeps alive bid for 1st title of 2019

Geneva, May 23 (efe-epa).- Top-seeded German Alexander Zverev edged Bolivia's Hugo Dellien 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 on Thursday 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.

The 1.98-meter (6-foot-6) 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 percent 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.

Afterward, Zverev credited his opponent and said he took a lot of positives from the contest.

"He's a great player... He started the year lower ranked; now he's already Top 100. I think he's going to finish the year much, much higher than he is now," Zverev was quoted as saying on the ATP Tour's Web site. "I struggled a little bit but still ended up finding a way to win, and that's most important for me right now."

The German, who reached the Acapulco final in early March but has also suffered numerous early-round losses to lesser-ranked players this year, also alluded to his recent sub-par performances and said the key today was to throw caution to the wind.

"I played very aggressive in the important moments, very, very aggressive, also in break points down, I played very aggressive. This is finally something I was looking for in the last few weeks, months, and today I think I showed it," Zverev said.

Next up for the German in Friday's semifinals will be Argentine world No. 84 Fernando Delbonis, who edged Spaniard Albert Ramos-Viñolas 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, the world No. 45.

The Geneva Open final will be played on Saturday, one day before the French Open - tennis' premier clay-court event - gets under way in Paris.

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