She was undecided for a long time, but the beauty ended up leaning on the side of Stefanos Tsitsipas. After winning a first semi-final against Alexander Zverev in Monte-Carlo and losing the second in Madrid, he emerged victorious on Saturday from this third meeting in the Masters 1000 which now looks like a classic on the circuit. During this shock marked by a lot of inconstancy on both sides, the Greek was slightly more solid under pressure to win in three sets (4-6, 6-3, 6-3) and almost two and a half hours of combat (2h27 precisely). He will play his first final in Rome against Novak Djokovic or Casper Ruud.
There was suspense and tension. Could it be otherwise between two established cadors of the circuit who now know each other perfectly? Probably not. But on clay, at least at sea level – Madrid’s Caja Magica where Zverev won their last duel last week is around 600 meters above sea level – Stefanos Tsitsipas has a more complete arsenal. And this Saturday, he showed it again by reversing the course of a match that seemed to escape him at first.
Tsitsipas – Djokovic, as we find ourselves: “It will be different from Roland”
15 HOURS AGO
70 unforced errors accumulated during a half under tension
Refusing the fight in the backhand diagonal and more generally prolonged exchanges, Tsitsipas still seemed marked by his last defeat against the German at the start of the game. He thus often rushed to make the difference, perhaps fearing the weight of the opposing ball and multiplying the errors. At three games everywhere, and even if he was not helped by the band of the net, he offered his service on a plateau to Zverev who held this advantage to remove the first set (6-4).
Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rome in 2022
Credit: Getty Images
But the two men have one thing in common at the moment: they have a hard time staying focused from start to finish in a match. And this half was no exception, the 70 unforced errors committed in all (for 48 winning shots) being more explicit than a thousand developments. More solid until then, Zverev dropped in intensity, committed two double faults in his first service game of the second set and conceded the entry break (4-6, 3-0). Relaunched, Tsitsipas took control and never let go.
Failing to be brilliant, the Greek regained all his authority in the service and showed much more patience in the exchange, frequently playing in the center so as not to give angles to the German. Once back to one set everywhere, he endeavored to apply himself as much as possible in the duels from the baseline, despite the false rebounds and the shadow on the court which did not facilitate the task for the two actors. Author of a new break at 2-2 in the 3rd set thanks to this newfound regularity and the opponent’s feverishness, he finished the game by delighting Zverev’s commitment one last time. Relieved, Tsitsipas saw his fighting spirit carry him again. And he may have saved his best tennis for the final.
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