Alexander Zverev felt a patient approach paid off against John Isner as he made sure not to miss out on the knockout stages of the ATP Finals for a second successive year.
German Zverev failed to qualify for the semi-finals in 2017 after losing his final group match, going down in a three-set thriller against Jack Sock at the O2.
However, the world number five made sure history was not repeated when facing another American opponent this year, recording a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 triumph over John Isner to set up a clash with Roger Federer on Saturday.
In a tightly fought contest, the 21-year-old from Hamburg recorded the only break against the big-serving Isner, who bowed out of the season-ending tournament with a third straight defeat.
"Against John, you have to be patient. There are going to be a lot of games where you really don't touch the ball on his serve," Zverev told Sky Sports.
"That's what happened for one and a half sets basically, so you've really got to take your chances when you get them.
"I did that well today and I'm very happy to be through to get another chance to play tomorrow."
Zverev admitted the memories of losing to Sock at the same venue a year earlier had motivated him ahead of his final outing in Group Guga Kuerten.
"I was in the same position last year against Jack Sock and missed my opportunity to go through," he added.
"I really wanted to do it differently this year, I really wanted to come out and be aggressive, play the best game I can and give myself the best possible chance to be in the semi-finals."
In the other last-four clash, top seed Novak Djokovic will take on Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
9 de diciembre 2018
|We´ll always be linked together forever - Wade reflects on playing with James before final match-up|
|O´Sullivan wins record seventh UK title|
|Chiefs secure playoff berth, Saints win NFC South|
|River Plate 3 Boca Juniors 1 (aet, 5-3 agg): Quintero and Martinez clinch Libertadores title in extr|
|WATCH: Chiefs QB Mahomes throws no-look pass|
|Dolphins defeat Patriots on miraculous final play|
|Kizzire eagle snatches QBE Shootout victory|
|AC Milan 0 Torino 0: Donnarumma shines, Cutrone misses late chance|
|Back to the drawing board for West Indies - Chase|
|Copa Libertadores: Messi and Griezmann among stars in Madrid for River-Boca Superclasico|
|Brady sets NFL record for most career TD passes|
|Copa Libertadores: Tevez named on Boca bench for Superclasico final|
|Premier League needs VAR, right now! - Benitez fumes over Dean´s decisions|
|McCall expects Itoje to fit for the Six Nations|
|Solari salutes Real Madrid character after ´ugly´ Huesca win|
|Berbatov defends under-fire Lukaku|
|Sarries crush Blues to maintain unbeaten start|
|Newcastle United 1 Wolves 2: Doherty punishes Yedlin red with late winner|
|Deeney jokes he´ll ´smash´ former Watford star Richarlison|
|Huesca 0 Real Madrid 1: Bale ends drought as Solari´s men edge to victory|
|Ponting: Umpires not looking at no-balls|
|Bale ends longest LaLiga goal drought|
|Porter backs Brees for MVP, Saints for Super Bowl|
|Verstappen eyeing 2019 title fight|
|Wall ´shouldn´t have played´ against Cavaliers after scoring just one point|
|Hazard: Man City the best team in the Premier League despite Chelsea win|
|LeBron explains why he gave a Grizzlies employee his game-worn shoes|
|Bangladesh cruise to ODI victory as seamers punish Windies|
|Football will win over violence, claims CONMEBOL president|
|Alcorcon support Reus Deportiu over unpaid players|
|Saponara explains cheeky celebration after last-gasp leveller|
|Godin and Filipe Luis return to Atletico training|
|Kick It Out condemns alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Emotional Oosthuizen clinches South African Open title|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 14|
|Martino salutes Atlanta´s grand plan|
|India´s tail must show greater application - Bangar|
|Mourinho: Diogo Dalot can be new Gary Neville|
|Sterling hits out at media coverage of black players|
|Lyon roars with defiance as Australia aim for unlikely victory|
|Bulls coach Boylen: Hooked starters ´embarrassing´ in record loss|
|Martinez pays tribute to Martino, Almiron after MLS Cup glory|
|LeBron: Final Wade matchup will be bittersweet|
|Alvarez-Kovalev rematch set for February 2|
|Newcastle Jets 2 Brisbane Roar 0: Sheppard, Jair score first A-League goals|
|India close in on victory in first Test|
|LeBron flirts with triple-double as Lakers down Grizzlies|
|Lomachenko unifies WBO, WBA titles with win over Pedraza|
|Joshua wants Wilder and Fury fights – Hearn|
|Mavericks rookie Doncic leads impressive fourth-quarter surge to beat Rockets|
|Martinez named MLS Cup MVP|
|Oklahoma´s Murray wins the Heisman Trophy|
|Atlanta United 2 Portland Timbers 0: Martinez scores again as Martino´s men win MLS Cup|
|Sarri to use Hazard as centre forward again|
|Ballon d´Or is a lie – Alba says Messi is world´s best|
|Messi: I needed some luck with free-kicks|
|Hoffman, Woodland in three-way tie for lead|
|Brook unconvincing in Zerafa victory|
|Leo unties any game - Valverde hails mesmeric Messi|
|Pochettino: Walker-Peters ready for Barcelona challenge|
8 de diciembre 2018
|Messi showed he is world´s best - Busquets|
|Messi scores two free-kicks in a LaLiga game for first time|
|Chelsea and police look into alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Espanyol 0 Barcelona 4: Magical Messi dazzles in derby demolition|
|Leicester City 0 Tottenham 2: Latest Son stunner buoys Spurs for Barca mission|
|We are here to be champions, not invincibles – City boss Guardiola bullish after first defeat|
|Sarri still writing off Chelsea´s title chances despite City win|
|Salihamidzic: De Jong is on Bayern´s radar|
|Messi makes more LaLiga history with goals record|
|Chelsea humility key to beating Manchester City, says David Luiz|