Basilashvili beats Zverev to reach Hamburg final

Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia returns the ball to Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Andrew Medichini/AP)

HAMBURG — Defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili saved two match points to beat second-seeded Alexander Zverev on Saturday and reach the final of the Hamburg European Open.

The fourth-seeded Georgian won 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) and will face Andrey Rublev of Russia on Sunday.

Zverev led 5-3 in the third set, much to his home crowd’s delight, before Basilashvili saved one match point with a forehand winner and the other when he sprinted to the net to swat away a forehand volley.

That was on his own serve and Basilashvili went on to break Zverev and take it to the tiebreaker, where he then rallied from 5-2 down to seal his place in the final.

Rublev also produced a comeback in his semifinal to beat Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

After finding himself 4-2 down in the second set, Rublev recovered to win 11 of the last 13 games.

Rublev has struggled with injuries over the past year and a half. The Russian missed three months last season due to a lower back stress fracture, and was out for six weeks this year with a wrist injury.

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