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Tsitsipas overcomes Musetti to reach Barcelona Open final

Stefanos Tsitsipas will hope it's third time lucky after sealing a return to the Barcelona final. ©AFP

Barcelona (AFP) - Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 on Saturday to reach the Barcelona Open final for the third time.

The Greek second seed lost on both occasions against Rafael Nadal in 2018 and 2021 and may face defending champion Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday, who plays Dan Evans later Saturday in the other semi-final.

Musetti twice went a break up in an entertaining first set, but Tsitsipas, runner-up at the Australian Open in January, battled back immediately both times. 

The Italian saved match point in the second set at 4-5 to force a decisive third set, but was outplayed in it by his opponent, who showed more focus than earlier on.

Tsitsipas survived a break point in the first game of the third set and then broke himself for 2-0, applying pressure on Musetti's serve which he could not live with.

Musetti did not have to play his quarter-final clash after Jannik Sinner withdrew through illness, but Tsitsipas was the stronger in the third set.

Tsitsipas wrapped up the win after two hours and 28 minutes, seeing out his final two service games without dropping a point.

World number two Alcaraz is aiming for his third title of the season in Barcelona, after triumphing at Indian Wells and Buenos Aires.

In the Spaniard's way lies Evans, who defeated Casper Ruud's conqueror Francisco Cerundolo on Thursday to reach the semis, but lost in straight sets in his only prior clash with Alcaraz in 2021.

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