Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Semifinals Photo Gallery
(March 1, 2019) DUBAI – Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships – semifinals day photos by Nida Alibhai.
Stefanos Tsitsipas will meet Roger Federer in the final of Dubai on Saturday.
Tsitsipas rallied from a set and a break down to beat Gael Monfils 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. The win assures the Greek player a spot in the Top Ten as of Monday.
“Today, I mean, I entered the semi-final, I was so tired. I could feel my body. I don’t know, I was not expecting much from me, to be honest,” said Tsitsipas. “I was just playing. My main focus was not to go (for) too much. If you would play good shots, usually I would run for them, give 100%. But today I felt like my body will crack if I do that again.
“Beating the big guys, big players, players that have been in the top 10, means a lot to me. I want(ed) to get there at some point myself, and I made it today. I don’t know, probably a special day for Greece. I’m practicing. I’m doing everything, all the hard work I’m doing to face these guys and beat them. That’s my main purpose on court, beat most of the guys all the time I’m facing. The biggest joy is to beat the top 10 guys.”
Roger Federer beat Borna Coric 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the final, for a chance to win his the career title.
“I was really happy with my play today, in terms of feeling (it) was definitely by far the best one. So that was good,” said Federer. “I’m sure Borna was feeling it a little bit from his last few matches. Again, I’ve also been tired the past and lost some. You just take it on your chin, move on, you try your best. He did that today.
“From my side, I think it was important to mix it up, be solid, not give him too many chances, keep showing him it’s going to be really difficult for him to win. At the end I actually played really good. I’m very pleased.”
Federer lost to Tsitsipas in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and was asked if this meeting in the final will be a revenge match.
“Maybe a little bit,” he said. “Obviously I was horribly disappointed and upset that I missed as many breakpoints as I did, had all the opportunities I had. That match kind of hurt in some ways. But, you know, it’s part of the game. I hope I’m going to play well. I’m more focused just on my own game, to be quite honest, than him. Probably reaching a hundred titles. I’m just going to try to focus and play good tennis.”
“I’m sure he will be pumped up,” said Tsitsipas. “It’s not easy for both of us. He obviously wants to beat me. For him, that loss was a big thing. I’m pretty sure he will come inside the court fired up, wanting to take a revenge from me. I’m definitely expecting that.”