HALLE WESTFALEN, GERMANY – Russia’s Andrey Rublev admitted he had to raise his game to reach the semi-finals of the ATP grass court tournament in Halle by beating 2011 champions Philipp Kohlschreiber on Friday (June 18).
The 23-year-old Russian held his nerve in the first set tie-breaker to earn a 7-6(4), 6-2 quarter-final win over Kohlschreiber to reach his sixth semi-final of 2021 on the ATP tour.
“I am happy with my performance to reach the semi-finals for the first time (in Halle),” said Rublev.
“The first set was really tough. He was 3-0 up in the tie-break and I came back, which was the key.
“After the first set, I think he mentally went down and I was pumped up.”
On Saturday, world number seven Rublev, will face Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili, 30th in the world, who beat Lloyd Harris of South Africa 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).
Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime continued his impressive form on grass by reaching the semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Marcos Giron of the USA.
“I’ve been playing well these past two weeks, believing in myself a lot and dominating my service games,” said Auger-Aliassime, who converted his first match point after firing down his 14th ace of the match.
The 20-year-old has built some momentum in Halle having beaten his childhood idol Federer in the second-round and will play either France’s Ugo Humbert or Sebastian Korda of the USA in the other semi-final.
“I received a lot of messages and attention, and those kinds of things can be tricky,” he admitted.
“They can take you out of your ‘zone’ and your focus on the tournament.”
Auger-Aliassime is bidding to end a streak of eight losses in ATP finals in the last two years, including last week’s Stuttgart grass court tournament.