Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev wrote one other gripping chapter of their 2022 clay-court rivalry on the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Saturday afternoon, with fourth-seeded Tsitsipas working out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 winner within the semi-finals in Rome.
Within the third clay-court ATP Masters 1000 semi-final between the pair this season, Tsitsipas recovered from the frustration of shedding a hard-fought opening set to finish a stirring comeback win and attain the ultimate within the Italian capital for the primary time.
The Greek was sturdy on serve all through towards Zverev and stayed constant from the baseline to halt Zverev’s early momentum in an engrossing two-hour, 29-minute win.
Tsitsipas was a straight-sets winner over Zverev en path to the title on the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in April, however the German exacted revenge for that semi-final defeat with a three-set win within the last 4 on the Mutua Madrid Open per week in the past. The pair are the one gamers to succeed in the semi-finals in any respect three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments on clay this season, and anticipation was excessive for a blockbuster conflict on the Foro Italico.
A high-quality opening noticed no break factors within the opening six video games, with each gamers demonstrating the spectacular serving that has powered their sturdy type on the clay this yr. It was Zverev who made the primary transfer, changing the one break level of the set for 4-3, and the German discovered sufficient first serves to withstand a Tsitsipas fightback as he clinched an entertaining first set.[FOLLOW ACTION]
As in Madrid final week, Tsitsipas was capable of get better from dropping the opening set to generate a momentum swing within the second. The Greek was aided by a lapse in Zverev’s degree, nevertheless, with the second seed double faulting handy Tsitsipas an early break for 2-0. Though Zverev deployed his first serve to good impact to fend off Tsitsipas’ efforts to interrupt once more, the Greek remained comfy behind his personal supply to drive a decider.
Though he competed nicely all through, Zverev was by no means fairly capable of regain the consistency in his groundstrokes from the primary set. Tsitsipas’ ballstriking remained strong reasonably than spectacular, however that proved sufficient to interrupt the German twice extra because the Greek ran out a snug winner within the deciding set.
The win extends Tsitsipas’ ATP Head2Head sequence lead over Zverev to 8-4. The Greek will play for a 3rd Masters 1000 title in Sunday’s championship match, the place his opponent might be World No. 1 Novak Djokovic or fifth seed Casper Ruud.