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Zverev and Sinner make Halle semi-finals on grass

Alexander Zverev was hoping for shorter matches on grass. Think again.

The world No.4 had to battle back to beat 20-year-old Arthur Fils 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 on Friday in two and a half hours for a spot in the semi-finals of the Halle Open.

Zverev, still in search of his first grass-court title, wanted to make quick work of opponents after some marathon sessions at the French Open, where he lost in five sets to Carlos Alcaraz in the final.

"After the French Open, I was hoping on grass I would play a bit quicker and not play for two-and-a-half, three hours every single match, but I'm continuing what I always do," Zverev joked.

The second-seeded Zverev needed three sets to get past qualifier Oscar Otte in the first round then eliminated Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets.

Zverev, a two-time runner-up in Halle, next faces Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Marcos Giron 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

But new world No.1 Jannik Sinner was taken the distance too for a third straight match when he had a real battle in overcoming Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-3).

Struff hit 18 aces and saved 16 of 18 break points, but still ended up losing to Sinner for the third time this year.

Sinner, who has yet to play a seed, will face Zhang Zhizhen, after the Chinese beat American Christopher Eubanks 6-4 4-6 7-5.

It was a breakthrough moment for Zhang, who has become the first Chinese man to reach a tour-level semi-final on grass in the Open era.