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Stefanos Tsitsipas Defeats Alexander Zverev to Reach Maiden Rome Final

Stefanos Tsitsipas could face world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Rome final if the Serbian beats Casper Ruud in today’s second semifinal. Photo credit: Internazionali BNL d’Italia Facebook

Dabbing a drop shot short in the court, Stefanos Tsitsipas lured Alexander Zverev forward, then lifted a lob volley over his head.

Showcasing his all-court acumen and fine feel, Tsitsipas gave Zverev the runaround in Rome.

Tsitsipas won five of the last six games defeating Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach his maiden Rome final today.

Avenging his three-set loss to Zverev in last Saturday’s Madrid semifinal, Tsitsipas beat the German for the eighth time in 12 meetings.

“Battle of the serves. Battle of being able to take that first shot after the serve and really put quite a lot of pressure to it, which I think I was able to do really well in the third set,” Tsitsipas told the media in Rome. “I was able to return a few on the third a bit more than him, get the ball in play, stay in those rallies, not give away much.

“I think at some point I saw he was a little bit impatient, went for a few, and didn’t succeed in his effort. I was really trying to stay there as long as possible and make every single one count.”

It was Tsitsipas’ Tour-leading 31st win of the season, including a sparkling 14-2 clay-court record.

The victory vaults the two-time Monte-Carlo champion into his first Rome final—and third final of 2022.

The fourth-seeded Greek will play either world No. 1 Novak Djokovic or Miami finalist Casper Ruud in tomorrow’s title match. If the top-seeded Serbian prevails in today’s second semifinal, he will set up a rematch of the 2021 Roland Garros final that saw Djokovic fight back from a two-set deficit to fend off Tsitsipas in five sets.

“I’ve looked back to those matches,” Tsitsipas said of his past meetings vs. Djokovic. “I’ve analyzed them. There are things that didn’t work for me after two sets to love up in Roland Garros.

“I guess I was always pretty stubborn, didn’t want to change, because so far it was working for me, the thing that led me to being two sets to love up. There’s always one more match where I can perhaps maybe do something different.”