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By Alberto Amalfi | Friday, September 29, 2017

 
Damir Dzumhur

Damir Dzumhur upset world No. 4 Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 7-5, for his eighth straight win in Shenzhen.

Photo credit: ATP Shenzhen Open Facebook

The shortest man still standing in Shenzhen looms large as the hottest man in tennis.

Taking the ball on the rise, Damir Dzumhur fought back from a break down in both sets stunning world No. 4 Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 7-5, to advance to the Shenzhen Open semifinals.

Watch: Top US Open Disappointments

The 5-foot-9 Dzumhur stretched his winning streak to eight matches.

Dzumhur battled back from a set down to defeat Fabio Fognini, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the St. Petersburg final on Sunday for his first career title.

The world No. 40 showed problem-solving skills again today. Down 0-2, Dzumhur reeled off six of the next eight games building a one-set lead.

The top-seeded Zverev, who went undefeated in last weekend’s inaugural Laver Cup competition, began hitting heavier drives racing out to a 4-1 lead.

Precise returning ignited Dzumhur’s comeback. He won 15 of 24 points played on Zverev’s second serve and converted four of seven break points wrapping an impressive 90-minute victory.

The sixth-seeded Dzumhur has won 16 of his last 19 matches in a confident run that includes the St. Petersburg title, Winston-Salem final and Los Cabos semifinal. Dzumhur, who will rise to a career-high rank on Monday, will try to extend his roll facing Alexandr Dolgpolov in the semifinals.

The fifth-seeded Dolgopolov held a 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 lead when opponent Dudi Sela retired with a strained forearm sending the Ukrainian into his third semifinal of the season.

Swiss Henri Laaksonen surged into his first ATP semifinal with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 conquest of Chinese qualifier Zhizhen Zhang, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Serving at 1-all in the final set, the 107th-ranked Swiss saved a break point sparking a run that saw him win five of the final six games.

Laaksonen fired 11 aces and saved four of five break points in a two hour, five-minute victory. He will play David Goffin for a place in the final.



The second-seeded Goffin dissected Donald Young, 6-2, 6-3, rolling into his fourth semifinal of the season.

Goffin converted five of 10 break points in a clinical 64-minute decision.

The 12th-ranked Belgian is bidding for his third final of the season and third career title.

“I was moving really well,” Goffin said. “I served also really well from the start. I was really aggressive. And I finished really well,” Goffin said. “I’m really happy the way I played today.”


 

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