Great Britain’s Dan Evans beat Russian sixth seed Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Dubai Tennis Championships to reach the fourth ATP semi-final of his career.
The British number one, 29, claimed a hard-fought 6-2 7-6 (11-9) victory over the world number 14.
He set up a last-four encounter against German Jan-Lennard Struff or Greek second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“Semi-finals in any tournament on the ATP Tour is great,” Evans said.
“It doesn’t matter who it’s against. Everyone is so good here.”
Serbia’s world number one Novak Djokovic will play Russia’s Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals, while French compatriots Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet contest the final last-eight tie.
Evans’ confidence will be building after his most convincing display in Dubai to date.
He came from a set down to beat Italian fourth seed Fabio Fognini in the opening round then edged out France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert following a third-set tie-break to reach the last eight.
Rublev proved an equally tough opponent, and unseeded world number 37 Evans admitted he was relieved to wrap up the victory in two sets.
Evans faced constant pressure from the Russian who started this season with an 11-match winning streak, lifting back-to-back trophies in Doha and Adelaide.
He needed to battle to earn the opening set, taking it after a final game in which he saved five break points before winning on his third set point.
The second set was equally intense. Evans was broken while serving for victory at 5-4 and missed two set points in the tie-break before Rublev sent a return over the baseline to end it.
“It was tough, I just hung in at the end and got through,” Evans added. “I just didn’t fancy playing another set; I think that’s what got me through.”
Evans was competing in a third quarter-final of 2020 after Adelaide – where he lost to Rublev – and Rotterdam.
The Briton now goes into relatively unchartered territory – his only previous ATP semi-finals were in Zagreb in 2014, Sydney in 2017 and Delray Beach last year.
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