Hard-hitting Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor rallied from a set down to upset top seed Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 Saturday night to claim his first Top 10 win and reach the final of the Mubadala Citi DC Open in Washington, D.C.
Griekspoor, who is chasing his third title of the season, has surged to a career-high 25 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, will play Daniel Evans for the title on Sunday after the Briton defeated Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 7-6(4) in second semi-final of the night.[atp app]
The 27-year-old, who is making his debut in the American capital, claimed one break in the second set and two breaks in the third against Fritz, who had won 80 of 82 service games coming into the match.
"The first Top 10 win was something I was really looking for. To beat Taylor playing at home is pretty special," Griekspoor said. "It's a pretty nice start to the American swing and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.
"My serve is going really well this week; it's getting some pace, whether it's during the day or during the night. I'm moving great and the body is great, so there's not much to complain about.”
Griekspoor's weight of shot was telling as he clubbed 40 winners to Fritz's 30, including 13 aces. He also won 47 points on the baseline compared to just 34 from the American.
The Dutchman finished strong, winning 20 of the final 27 points as he won five straight games from 1-2 in the decider.
Should he win the title, Griekspoor will move to World No. 21 on Monday, further building on his banner season, in which he has already won 27 matches, 10 more than he claimed during 2022, and titles in Pune and ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
"Winning two 250s, especially one at home, is something you dream of. Playing semis of a 500 at home in Rotterdam and now the final here, it's all coming together this season. I've been working hard and it's coming together.
Evans was a model of patience and restraint in his straights-sets win over Dimitrov, allowing the Bulgarian to be the author of his own demise with 30 unforced errors. Although Dimitrov clipped 24 winners to Evans' nine, the Briton's clean performance with just 10 unforced errors was telling.
The 33-year-old said he was proud of how he backed up following a gruelling schedule the day before, when he had to win two matches, including against second seed Frances Tiafoe late at night, while Dimitrov cooled his heels having received a walkover.
"It was so hard after yesterday putting in such a big effort. Coming back today it was really important to not roll over and have a bad performance," Evans said. "The last few months that has happened a little bit. I'm really proud I could do that today. One more to go.
“Physically I was tired, although more sleepy than anything as it's tough to sleep after such a late night. But we got to America early; we were in Bradenton a lot and my trainer helped me get in good shape after a poor Wimbledon. It makes you feel good at these times to be confident in your body when you can play two matches and come back today.”
Evans, who levelled his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with Dimitrov at 3-3, is the first British finalist in Washington since Andy Murray in 2006. He seeks his second ATP Tour title to add to the 2021 Melbourne-2 crown.