Grigor Dimitrov rallied to beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-7 (4), 7-6 (0), 6-3 to advance to the semifinals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Friday.
The Bulgarian will play 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-4.
Neither player managed to break serve in the first set. Both then broke once in the second set before Dimitrov ran away with the tiebreaker.
Dimitrov broke Baghdatis’ first service game of the final set to set up a win he celebrated by leaping over the net to hug his opponent.
”That was my last one percent of power,” Dimitrov said. ”Thank God I didn’t injure myself.”
The 21-year-old Dimitrov has been compared to a young Roger Federer with a similar one-handed backhand, but he still doesn’t possess the Swiss master’s temperament. That was demonstrated by his smashing a racket into the court after Baghdatis broke his serve in the second set.
Del Potro also was frustrated against Nieminen, but the 1.98-meter (6-foot-6) Argentine’s serve saved him whenever he looked in trouble.
The second-seeded Del Potro served 10 aces, seven in the second set.
”It was a really difficult match,” Del Potro said. ”I played well, but I need to improve my game for the next round.”
If Dimitrov can overcome Del Potro on Saturday, he could face defending champion Federer in the final.
Dimitrov reached his first ATP final in January, losing to Andy Murray at the Brisbane International.
Federer takes on Julien Benneteau in the evening session and Martin Klizan faces Gilles Simon.