FLORENCE, September 27, 2019
Philipp Kohlschreiber has reached his first semi-final on the ATP Challenger Tour since finishing runner-up to Denis Istomin in Istanbul 2011. The 35-year-old German defeated Raul Brancaccio, the last Italian left in the singles draw, 6-4, 6-1 on Friday afternoon to advance to the stage of the final four of the Firenze Tennis Cup Trofeo Toscana Aeroporti.
Kohlschreiber, the top seed of the €46,600 clay-court event, capitalized on five of his 10 break point chances to secure victory in one hour and six minutes. The World No. 80 from Augsburg will next take on Pedro Sousa of Portugal. The No. 7 seed edged past Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium 6-2, 7-6(3). Sousa won 54 per cent of the total points played to prevail after one hour and 30 minutes.
Mohamed Safwat caused the upset of the day by knocking out No. 14 seed Robin Haase from the Netherlands. The 29-year-old from Egypt came back from a set down to seal a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win in one hour and 51 minutes.
“I played more or less the same way throughout the match, but I made too many mistakes in the first set,” Safwat said. “I had my match plan and tried to keep the ball in play and the mistakes of the first set turned into winning shots.”
Up next for Safwat will be Marco Trungelliti of Argentina, who also had to go the distance against Mario Vilella Martinez of Spain. The 29-year-old won 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(11) after two hours and 42 minutes.