Malek Jaziri's run continues into quarter-finals after thrilling win over Robin Haase

Sport360 staff 00:17 01/03/2018
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Malek Jaziri hits a backhand in his victory over Robin Haase.

Malek Jaziri claimed a breathtaking 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) victory over 2017 semi-finalist Robin Haase on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Jaziri was under pressure to follow up his sensational win over world No4 Grigor Dimitrov and rose magnificently to the occasion, fighting off all eight break points he faced and controlling both tiebreaks.

“Everyone was waiting for me after beating the number one seed,” said Jaziri. “Everyone was waiting (for me) to go as far as possible. Everyone is pushing (me) to play good, you know, to make bigger results.

“I think it was important to keep calm, only play tennis, enjoy the game, that was the most important, fight for all the points. I think I played really good on the really important points today, the breakpoints and tiebreak. At the beginning of the tiebreak, I put much pressure, more winners on important points. I was really offensive. My serve helped me today in the really important points.”

Second crowd favourite Marcos Baghdatis, meanwhile, was beaten 7-6 (2) 6-4 by seventh seed Filip Krajinovic.

Baghdatis held nine break points but converted just one, and that cost him dearly against an opponent who played well under pressure. He held one that would have left him serving for a 4-0 lead in the first set, another to break for 6-5 and serve for the opening set and four more that would have given him a 2-0 lead in the second. He claimed none of those, and dropping his own serve to love at 4-4 in the second set sealed his fate.

“It was a tough match. I faced a lot of breakpoints. I think I played really aggressive on that ones,” said Krajinovic. “I think I play aggressive when I needed. I served well when I needed. That was the key. I stay with him. Yeah, it was a patient game. I’m really happy to play in quarter-final. Beating Baghdatis for me is good win. He likes to play here. He’s played in the semis and final before.”

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