Stefanos Tsitsipas eased into the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open on Friday, beating Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-2 to stay on a collision course with defending champion Carlos Alcaraz.
Tsitsipas claimed the lone break of the opening set and then reeled off five straight games in the second as he won for the ninth time in as many meetings with Australia’s De Minaur.
The Greek second seed will play Lorenzo Musetti on Saturday as he bids to reach the Barcelona final for a third time. He was runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2018 and 2021.
Tsitsipas, the losing finalist at January’s Australian Open, is bidding for his first title of the season. He lost to Alcaraz in the quarter-finals in Barcelona last year.
Musetti advanced via walkover earlier in the day when fellow Italian Jannik Sinner had to pull out because of illness.
“Sad to have to withdraw from my match today in Barcelona,” tweeted Sinner, who beat Musetti in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals last week.
“I’ve been feeling unwell for a few days now. Today the sickness got worse and I’m not able to play. I’ll take some time to rest and recover.”
Top-seeded Alcaraz faces Spanish compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the quarter-finals later on Friday.
Alcaraz, 19, is looking for his third trophy of the season after triumphing in Buenos Aires and Indian Wells.