German Open: Defending champion Leonardo Mayer saves match point to set up final against qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili
Defending champion Leonardo Mayer saved a match point before beating Slovakian qualifier Jozef Kovalik 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-6(7) to reach the German Tennis Championships final.
Hamburg: Leonardo Mayer of Argentina reached the German Championships final for the third time in five years after saving a match point on Saturday.
Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia will face Mayer in his first ATP final after winning a semi-final lasting nearly four hours.
Mayer beat Slovak qualifier Jozek Kovalik 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (7) in their nearly three-hour semi.
Mayer had the only break of serve in the match early in the second set.
Kovalik had match point at 6-5 in the deciding tiebreaker but took a deep return from Mayer and netted a forehand. Mayer prevailed five points later.
His only two ATP titles were won on the same Hamburg clay in 2014 and 2017.
In the final he meets another qualifier, Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.
Basilashvili beat Nicolas Jarry of Chile 7-5, 0-6, 6-1 a day after Jarry toppled top-seeded Dominic Thiem.
Djokovic was hoping to draw level with Roger Federer on six season-ending championship titles.
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Sinner replaced fellow home hope Matteo Berrettini in the draw who pulled out due to abdominal injury.