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Top-seeded Tsitsipas reaches Open 13 final, faces Kukushkin

2019 Australian Open - Day 11

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in action in his Men’s Semi Final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day 11 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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MARSEILLE, France -- Top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas remains on course for his first title of the year after beating David Goffin 7-6 (1), 6-2 on Saturday to reach the Open 13 final.

He next plays Mikhail Kukushkin after the 31-year-old Kazakh beat French wildcard entry Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-4.

The 20-year-old Tsitsipas became the youngest Grand Slam semifinalist since 2007 when the big-serving Greek reached the last four of the Australian Open earlier this year, getting the better of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer along the way.

“Titles mean a lot,” said Tsitsipas, whose only previous title was on indoor hard courts last year in Stockholm. "(Titles) won’t come to you. You have to work hard to get them.”

Humbert had nine aces but dropped his serve three times while Kukushkin conceded his once.

Kukushkin is through to his fourth career final, but his only win was nine years ago on indoor hard courts at the St. Petersburg Open in Russia.

“It is a big stage in my career,” said the 50th-ranked Kukushkin. “I am going to play against a very difficult opponent and he is going to be the favorite.”

Tsitsipas won their only previous meeting, on outdoor hard courts in Dubai last year.