Quentin Halys continues to break new ground in 2023.
The Frenchman on Friday advanced to his first ATP Tour semi-final when he defeated former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-4 to reach the last four of the Millennium Estoril Open.
“I’m playing really, really good at the moment. For me to be here in the semi-finals for the first tournament on clay is huge for me and I’ve played some really good players,” Halys said. “I’m so happy and I’m looking forward for tomorrow because I think I can do well again tomorrow.
“It’s going to be a tough one, but I’m really looking forward [to it].”
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Halys will play top seed Casper Ruud or fifth seed Sebastian Baez for a place in the final. The 26-year-old saved the two break points he faced against Thiem and converted all three of his chances to triumph after one hour and 19 minutes.
It marked the end of a resurgent week for Thiem, who earned consecutive victories for the first time this season against Sebastian Ofner and Ben Shelton.
The Frenchman Halys is up to No. 64 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings from No. 80 at the start of the week. Last week in Miami he made the fourth round of an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time.
In other action, 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato and sixth seed Miomir Kecmanovic set a semi-final clash against one another.
Cecchinato improved to 10-3 in tour-level quarter-finals with a 7-5, 7-6(5) upset of third seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Kecmanovic ousted Bernabe Zapata Miralles 7-5, 6-2.
Kecmanovic won his only previous ATP Head2Head meeting with Cecchinato last year on clay in Santiago 7-5, 6-1.