February 23, 2019 / 7:04 PM / 4 months ago

Tennis: Tsitsipas sets up final with Kukushkin in Marseille

FILE PHOTO - Tennis - Australian Open - Semi-final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 24, 2019. Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during the match against Spain's Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

(Reuters) - Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas moved one step closer to his third singles title with a 7-6(1) 6-2 win over Belgium’s David Goffin in the semi-finals of the Marseille Open on Saturday.

Top seed Tsitsipas, who knocked 20-times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer out of the Australian Open last month, has yet to drop a set in the tournament and wrapped up the match in 70 minutes to set up a final with Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

The opening set went with serve until Tsitsipas cracked at 5-5, allowing his opponent to break. But the Greek number one broke back in the next game to take the set to a tiebreak, where he dominated the 28-year-old Goffin.

Tsitsipas then powered through the second set, breaking Goffin twice to seal victory and winning 93 percent of his points on his first serve.

Earlier, Kukushkin ended French wildcard Ugo Humbert’s run with a 6-4 6-4 victory that took an hour and 33 minutes.

The 31-year-old won 83 percent of his first-serve points and now hopes to win his first ATP Tour final since his maiden title at the St. Petersburg Open nine years ago.

Tsitsipas and Kukushkin have met twice before, including a qualifier, with the 20-year-old Greek prevailing on both occasions. The final is on Sunday.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon

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