Stefanos Tsitsipas completed a personal best at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday as injured Spanish quarter-final opponent Alejandro Davidovich Fokina handed over a 7-5 win to the Greek fourth seed.
Tsitsipas was competing in his eighth ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, each played at different venues.
The 58th-ranked Spaniard needed a trainer visit at 3-all and soldiered on in pain to take the loss in 57 minutes, leaving the court while wiping away his tears.
Tsitsipas, an experienced 23-year-old who is a fixture in the Top 10, had kind words for his beaten opponent.
“He’s a player that has been doing really well and has a big game. He proved himself this week in Monte-Carlo, beating good opponents (eighth seed Matteo Berrettini in the second round).”
But the emotions only extended so far for the Greek:
“I saw he got injured in the middle of the first set and I took advantage of it [and] tried to make him play,” Tsitsipas said..
“It wasn’t easy, of course. There were certain moments which were a bit tricky and uncertain, but I stayed composed and imposed my game later in that match.”
Tsitsipas will be competing in his sixth Masters semi-final, completing a matched set of all three Masters semi-finals played on clay.
“I am happy to be at the place where I am right now… I am happy with my performance today,” the winner said.
“I fought really hard. Even in difficult moments, I was putting out my best tennis