World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted Alexander Zverev made him work extremely hard for his victory but he was glad he was able to escape with a win and progress into his first Rome final.
Zverev, ranked at No. 3 in the world, made a good start to the match but Tsitsipas recovered to win 4-6 6-3 6-3.
Zverev earned the first break of the match in the seventh game, before serving out for the first set in the 10th game.
Tsitsipas quickly bounced back from losing the first set as he took an early 3-0 lead in the second set.
One break of serve was enough for Tsitsipas in the second set as he served out for the set in the ninth game.
In the third set, Tsitsipas broke Zverev in the fifth and ninth games to complete a comeback win.
“He wasn’t giving me much, he made me work hard for every single point,” Tsitsipas said after the match, per the ATP Tour website. “I’m extremely proud of the way things turned around, and I was able to read the gameplay a little bit better and understand what was working at that time.”
Tsitsipas aims for his first Rome title
Tsitsipas, 23, is playing in Rome for the fifth time in his career.
Previously, Tsitsipas’ best result in Rome was the semifinal he achieved in 2019.
“It’s one of those tournaments that I think has the most history in sport,” said Tsitsipas. “As you can see looking around the sides, one of the most beautiful stadiums. There’s a lot of history playing on these courts and you feel very proud that you made your way here and are able to participate in such a historically rich event.”
Tsitsipas is having a strong clay season as last month he made it all the way at the Monte Carlo Masters.
It remains to be seen if Tsitsipas can lift his second Rome title.