Tsitsipas sees Sinner reach Rome semis after match point drama | Tennis News


ROME: Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the semi-finals of the Italian Open on Friday after beating local hero Jannick Sinner 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 in a match that was stopped for more than 10 minutes at the match point after a spectator falls ill.
World number five Tsitsipas has already won the Monte Carlo Masters this season and reached the last four in impressive style against Italy’s Sinner, who was playing his first-ever quarter-final in Rome.
Next, Tsitsipas will face Alexander Zverev, who reached the semi-finals after comfortably beating Cristian Garin, the only unseeded player remaining in the tournament, 7-5, 6-2.
It will be the third time in the space of a month that the German will meet the Greek in the last four, with the duo sharing the honors of the clashes in Monte Carlo and Madrid.
Sinner fired up a cheering crowd on center court on a hot day in the Italian capital after battling after three games to level the first set at 3-3, and from there the pair butted heads .
The first set lasted nearly an hour and a half as the two players split serve and Sinner landed a series of tricky drop shots that bewildered Tsitsipas.
However, the Greek eventually took the first set after breaking Sinner to make the tie-break 6-5 and his opponent failed to recover.
The fervent atmosphere was finally dampened when Tsitsipas beat Sinner in game three and world number 13 Sinner failed to respond, again losing his serve to love in game seven.
Sinner’s fate appears sealed, but on match point for Tsitsipas someone in the crowd appeared to collapse and play was stopped amid loud whistles directed at the referee who wanted to continue.
What seemed like an age passed before the spectator was stretched out of center court and Tsitsipas could finally serve his match point, and a single pass from Sinner’s mistimed shot sent him through .
Tsitsipas will take fourth place in the world rankings on Monday following Rafael Nadal’s shock third-round exit at the hands of Denis Shapovalov on Thursday night.
Shapovalov takes on Casper Ruud knowing a win would give him a possible semi-final against Novak Djokovic, who is in action in the final match of the day against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Djkokovic must beat Canada’s Auger-Aliassime to retain his No. 1 spot in the world rankings, a position he has held for a record 369 weeks.
Aryna Sabalenka reached the women’s semi-finals after beating Amanda Anisimova 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and setting up a potential clash with world number one Iga Swiatek.
Third-seeded Sabalenka beat American Anisimova for the first time in five attempts and is now awaiting the outcome of the last eight match between Swiatek and Bianca Andreescu.
Anisimova had ended Sabalenka’s Madrid title defense in the first round late last month.
Swiatek, the defending champion in Rome, is on a 25-game winning streak and is aiming for a fifth straight tournament win.

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