He suffered, was about to say goodbye, but true to his style he did not give up, he kept fighting and had his prize. Federico Delbonis saved four match points against irascible Benoit Paire, that even so and everything fulfilled a great performance, to win in three sets and advance to the semi-finals at the ATP 500 in Hamburg. The Argentine achieved two important marks on German soil this season.
The 30-year-old left-hander from Azul is having his best year on the professional circuit. After two victories in different ways, this Friday he suffered to the extreme. Delbonis beat Paire, eighth seeded, 4-6, 7-6 (9) and 6-4 after lifting four points for defeat, all in the second set.
Delbonis did not have a great performance and the European was emotionally sober and produced a very good version. Indeed, Paire was on the brink of victory, but the fighter from Argentina did not give him ground in the key tiebreaker and finally achieved a decisive break of service in the third set in Hamburg.
With this victory, Delbonis reached three semifinals at the ATP level in 2021, being the Argentine with the most access to that round this year. The previous ones were obtained in Santiago and Belgrade, but lost them, now being once again a success of his first final on the tour since 2016.
This victory was Delbonis’ No. 22 of the year on brick dust and it was just one behind Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 4 in the world ranking and top seed. Precisely, the Greek fell in the quarterfinals of Hamburg at the hands of the Serbian Filip Krajinovic and then the Albiceleste can tie it if he defeats the Spanish Pablo Carreño Busta in the semi on Saturday.
In the semifinal, Delbonis will then play against Carreño, world No. 13 and second seed in the German competition. In the first game on Saturday there will be a purely Serbian clash between the aforementioned Krajinovic, seeded sixth, and Laslo Djere.