Launceston, Tasmania, 1 February 2019 | Asher Packman

Luke Saville recorded another solid win at the Neville Smith Forest Products Launceston International on Friday, defeating Frenchman Tristan Lamasine 6-4 6-4 to advance to the semifinal.

“I feel like my tennis has been really strong for a couple of months,” said the South Australian, who reached the final of the Australian Open Wildcard Play-Off in December. “I’ve got a few things sorted and I’m feeling much more settled.”

“I’ve got a good team around me now and we’ve done some really good work on my game. I’m starting to get a lot of belief back.”

With an impressive straight-sets quarterfinal victory over Japanese No.11 seed, Go Soeda, also under his belt, Saville’s confidence appears to be on the rise. “I’ve definitely got a bit of fire back,” he said. “I feel like I’m getting a lot stronger in the critical moments. I’m always learning and I’m trying to play a bolder, more aggressive style.”

“I’m moving really well as well. I feel a bit lighter around the court which is making a difference.”

At 25, and with plenty of years of tour behind him, Saville also feels his experience is beginning to pay dividends. “I’m seeing the game a little better. I’m being a lot more open with myself, looking at the areas I need to keep working on,” he said.

Standing between Saville and a berth in the final is Italian Lorenzo Giustino.

“I haven’t got too much on him,” Saville said. “I’m really just going into these matches trying to play as much of it as I can on my terms. I’ll compete hard and leave everything out there.”

A semifinalist in Launceston in 2016, the former world No.152 will be looking for his maiden ATP Challenger title and his first final since 2015.

“I’m not exactly where I want to be, it’s a long road back up there, but this is definitely a step in the right direction,” he said.

Meanwhile, Savile’s doubles partner Max Purcell was not so fortunate in his quarterfinal, falling 7-6(6) 7-5 to veteran Dudi Sela. The Israeli will face South African top seed Lloyd Harris in the remaining semifinal.

Together, the Aussie duo – top seeds this week – edged out Australian/Dutch pair Matt Reid and Sam Verbeek 6-4 2-6 [12-10] to reach the doubles final.

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