SANTIAGO: Cristian Garin continued his pursuit of a maiden ATP Tour title on home soil on Friday with a 6-4, 6-4, win against Juan Pablo Varillas in the Chile Open quarter-finals.
The Chilean star faced a fearless foe in Varillas, a Peruvian qualifier competing in his first ATP Tour quarter-final. But Garin saved six of the eight break points he faced to triumph after one hour and 35 minutes.
"I would love to be able to do something important in this tournament. It is special and I hope I can continue to win. I am playing better, in a semi-final and I am excited to do better, but I prefer to go step by step, game by game," Garin said.
The top seed was the first player broken in each set. World No. 171 Varillas pulled out every tool at his disposal, including the drop shot to sprint into the lead. But he was unable to sustain the same level as Garin throughout the match.
The World No. 22, who made the Santiago quarter-finals last year, will next play Daniel Elahi Galan. The Colombian eliminated 2018 Quito champion Roberto Carballes Baena 7-6(8), 6-3 after one hour and 52 minutes.
Galan, who hit 10 aces, is into his second ATP Tour semi-final. Two years ago in Houston, he reached the last four as a qualifier. Federico Delbonis ended 17-year-old Holger Rune's dream run at the Chile Open on Friday, defeating the junior World No. 1 6-3, 6-3, in 67 minutes to reach the Santiago semi-finals.
The Argentine, a two-time ATP Tour champion, is into the last four at a tour-level event for the first time since Bastad in 2019. Delbonis overwhelmed the Danish teenager with his physical game on the Chilean red clay, using depth and heavy spin to keep Rune from getting comfortable in the match.
The 30-year-old lefty won 83 per cent of his first-serve points and broke his opponent's serve four times. Delbonis will next play countryman Facundo Bagnis for a spot in the final. Rune, who did not own an ATP Tour win before this week, was trying to become the youngest player to reach a tour-level semi-final since 17-year-old Alexander Zverev did so in Hamburg in 2014.
Delbonis' next opponent, Bagnis, beat fourth seed Laslo Djere 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and six minutes. The Argentine is into his second ATP Tour semi-final. Bagnis made the last four at this level for the first time two weeks ago in Cordoba.
The action from the ATP 250 -- Chile Open -- Santiago -- Day 6 will be live on Eurosport and Eurosport HD from 04:30 am IST onwards on Sunday.