(Madrid) The Russian Aslan Karatsev, 121st in the world and from the qualifications, qualified for his very first semi-final in the Masters 1000, Thursday in Madrid, by ending the fine course of the Chinese Zhizhen Zhang (99th) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

For a place in the final, Karastev will face the world No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas or the German Jan-Lennard Struff (65th), opposed in the evening.

A surprise semi-finalist at the 2021 Australian Open who fell outside the top 100, the 29-year-old Russian will return to the gates of the top 50 thanks to his semi-final in Madrid.

In seven matches played in Madrid (two in qualifying and five in the main draw), Karatsev has only let one set slip (against Medvedev).

This quarter-final was already his first in Masters 1000.

Zhang (26), who became the first Chinese player to reach the quarter-finals of the Masters 1000, thanks in particular to two victories against top 15 players (Norrie and Fritz), will climb to 66th place in the ATP rankings on Monday, the best of his career.