It feels like the paths of Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas always lead to semi-finals matches: for the 3rd time this year, the 5th consecutive time in the penultimate round of a tournament, the two will fight for a spot in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
The Greek leads the head-to-head by 7-4, but it was Zverev who has taken the last meeting just one week ago in Madrid. Both arrive to this semi-final following a two-set victory, in which the first set was the closest.
The German took down Cristian Garin 7-5 6-2, while Tsitsipas had to play against an inspired Jannik Sinner and the whole crowd behind their idol. The 4th seed started the match better, but the Italian closed the gap immediately, further saving a key break point in the 8th game. The Greek managed to keep his cool and closed the first set at the tiebreak, before carrying the momentum for a 7-6(5) 6-2 victory.
“It was a good match that I was able to bring out on the court”, commented Tsitsipas who was not short of compliments for Sinner: “He also had his moments where he was really stepping in and being very determined of his shot selection and his game plan. He wasn’t easy to play against today. My performance was very consistent, especially in the tiebreak where I had to take some decisions. In these critical moments, I was really precise and knew exactly what I’m going to follow and how am I going to do it. It worked in my favor”.
Despite having had the edge over his opponent almost two times every three matches, Tsitsipas faces the next match with low shoulders: “he’s a player that challenges me when I’m out on the court. He is difficult to beat. I do have respect for what he has achieved in the sport so far. Every time I go out there to play him, I really want to bring out the best of my game and really show what I’m capable of in terms of my tennis, handling the difficult situations because he can really, if he’s on a good day, not give you a lot of errors”.
Zverev will hope to bring the same quality of tennis shown in the past weeks and for the same level of support he has got throughout his career while playing in Italy to try and advance to what would be his third final in Rome: “Italy is one of the countries that I think I get the most crowd support. It’s always nice to be playing with the crowd behind my back”.