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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 March 2019

Dubai Tennis: Stefanos Tsitsipas targets place in final and reaching ATP top 10 against Gael Monfils

A lot at stake for the Greek player when he faces his French opponent in their semi-final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on Friday at 5pm

Stefanos Tsitsipas is aiming to reach the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final on Friday. EPA
Stefanos Tsitsipas is aiming to reach the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final on Friday. EPA

Stefanos Tsitsipas can achieve two firsts this weekend in Dubai.

If he wins the tournament it will give him back-to-back titles for the first time on the ATP Tour after winning in Marseille last week.

If he reaches the final, by beating Gael Monfils on Friday, it will also see him move into the top 10 in the ATP rankings for the first time in his career.

The Greek had said of the prospect of reaching the milestone of the top 10 on Thursday: "I'm thinking about it almost every day. I want it badly. I want it to happen very much. I know I'll have to win a couple of crucial matches to get there."

It has been a spectacular start to 2019 for the 20 year old. He reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January, his best performance to date at the grand slam, beating defending champion Roger Federer in the fourth round.

He then triumphed in Marseille, beating Mikhail Kukushkin in the final.

To keep his run going though he must get past Monfils on Friday afternoon, and the Frenchman is in equally good form, having won in Rotterdam in February.

The pair have met twice previously, both in the past six months, and both have a victory to their name.

Tsitsipas won at the Shanghai Masters 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, while Monfils prevailed in Sofia in February with a 6-3, 7-6 success.

The match on Friday starts around 5pm. Neither man has been to the Dubai final before so it will be a first for whoever wins, but Tsitsipas also has the reward of the top 10 spot as motivation to drive him on.

Updated: March 1, 2019 01:58 PM

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