Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka edged past World No 6 Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals of the ATPP event in Munich to earn the biggest win of his career on Friday.
The Belarusian broke Zverev’s serve to stay in the match at 4-5 in the second set and won nine of the final 12 games of the match to clinch a 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-3 victory.
Ivashka capitalised on double faults late in the second set from the two-time champion and claimed the crucial break of the decider at 4-3 to earn his maiden Top 10 win.
Ilya Ivashka-reer high win 🙌
A brilliant win for qualifier Ivashka in Munich, who beats top seed Zverev 6-7 7-5 6-3 to reach the @BMWOpen2021 semis! pic.twitter.com/0aj3bKJOIf
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 30, 2021
“This match was really tough for me and I was [close to losing] in the second set,” Ivashka said in his post-match interview. “I managed well and I tried stay in and fight until the last moment to see if he would give [me] chances and it happened.”
Ivashka owns a 6-2 record on clay this season, following runs to the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open quarter-finals in Marbella and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell second round.
Last week in Barcelona, the World No. 107 won three matches from qualifying and pushed eventual champion Rafael Nadal to a third set.
“I just came to play match after match,” Ivashka said. “I knew that I had played well [in the] previous weeks… but I was not expecting [this run].”
Ivashka is through to his second ATP Tour semi-final, more than three years after his run to the final four at the 2018 Open 13 Provence in Marseille.
The 27-year-old will face Jan-Lennard Struff for a spot in the championship match, with both players attempting to reach their first ATP Tour final. Struff won the pair’s only previous ATP meeting last year.