World no. 114 Taro Daniel moved into his maiden ATP World Tour final knocking out Jeremy Chardy in a three sets thriller at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open.
25-year-old Taro Daniel had never made a tour-level semi-final prior to the 2018 TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open, now he’s into his first ATP final. The Japanese edged past experienced Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to be the first to book a spot in the championship match.
A day after his incredible third set comeback against Rogerio Dutra Silva, world no. 114 drew the first blood breaking Chardy to take a 3-2 lead. Daniel managed to maintain his break lead before stealing Chardy’s serve once more to close out the opener 6-3.
Chardy, who’s appearing in his first semi-final since 2015 Rogers Cup, got his first break of the match on the third game of the second set, but gave it back the next game. There were no breaks until the ninth game where Chardy made his move, breaking Daniel for 5-4 before levelling the sets.
Both guys put on a solid service performance in the beginning of the deciding set, but that didn’t go longer. The fans witnessed four back-to-back breaks before Daniel saved three break points to hold at a very crucial time. The pressure was on Chardy, who was trailing 4-5 and serving to stay in the tournament.
Daniel raced to a 0-40 lead, then secured the victory on the second match-point after 2 hours and 34 minutes. He’s the lowest-ranked player to reach the final in the history of Istanbul Open where he will play another first time finalist Malek Jaziri on Sunday for the title.