Tennis: Carreno Busta, Auger-Aliassime into Rotterdam semis

Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain celebrates after winning his match against Jannik Sinner of Italy.
Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain celebrates after winning his match against Jannik Sinner of Italy.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS (REUTERS) - Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta overcame a gritty challenge from Italian Jannik Sinner to win 7-5 3-6 7-6(6) in a marathon clash to reach the Rotterdam Open semi-finals on Friday (Feb 14).

Carreno Busta squandered three match points while leading 5-4 in the final set before saving two himself at 6-4 down in the tiebreak to advance in two hours and 45 minutes and set up an encounter with Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime.

"It was very tough mentally to continue fighting on every point," said Carreno Busta, who won his third consecutive three-setter at the tournament.

"I know that I lost a lot of opportunities to close out the match.

"I didn't play good points, I was playing too slowly and not aggressively. But after that I continued fighting very well and saved two match points playing aggressively in the tiebreak. It was a very important match to win."

Auger-Aliassime beat Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene, despite being unwell and looking out of sorts, winning 6-4 7-6(6).

The 19-year-old broke Bedene at 5-4 to take the first set and looked firmly in control in the second before the Slovenian picked up his game to force a tiebreak with well executed points designed to tire out the struggling Auger-Aliassime.

However, the visibly exhausted Canadian managed to save a set point before winning the tiebreak and advancing to only his third career ATP 500 semi-final.

French third seed and defending champion Gael Monfils is in action against Briton Dan Evans later on Friday.