World No.5 Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas, on Saturday, May 14, qualified for the Italian Open final for the maiden instance after he defeated Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The 23-year-old Young Turk, who is set to rise to fourth in the new ATP rankings next week, will need to defeat either World No.1 Novak Djokovic or Casper Ruud, the Norwegian fifth seed, to rack up his third Masters 1000 title.
In the third claycourt Masters 1000 semi-final between the pair this season, Tsitsipas overpowered Zverev as he looked dominant from the baseline and strong on serve throughout the duration of the match.
TSITSIPAS SHOWS HIS CLASS
Zverev was fairly clinical in the first set with his first serve working like clockwork, but the German dropped a set for the first time in this year’s championship as Tsitsipas upped his game by quite some extent in the second set.
The Athens-born Tsitsipas struck first in the decider, earning a break to lead 3-2 when Zverev sent a forehand into the net.
Tsitsipas broke Zverev yet another time to finally claim a comfortable triumph as the German went down the barrel at a brisk pace. He now has a Tour-leading 31 match wins this year and leads his head-to-head against Zverev 8-4.
The defeat meant that the Hamburg-born 25-year-old Zverev is yet to win a title this season. After the game, Tsitsipas admitted that Zverev gave him a run for his money, but sounded satisfied by the way he played.
“He wasn’t giving me much, he made me work hard for every single point. 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 was quoted as saying.
“It’s one of those tournaments that I think has the most history in sport. 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.