Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action against Nicolas Jarry during their Rome Open quarter-final at Foro Italico.—Reuters
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action against Nicolas Jarry during their Rome Open quarter-final at Foro Italico.—Reuters

ROME: Chilean 21st seed Nicolas Jarry fought back from a set down to beat world number eight Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 and reach the Italian Open semi-finals here on Thursday.

Jarry, who fought off 11 of 13 break points faced in the match, will next play American 14th seed Tommy Paul in his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.

Another Chilean, Alejandro Tabilo, will take on German third seed Alexander Zverev in the other semi-final. The two Chileans will appear in the semi-finals of an ATP 1000 event for the first time since the format was introduced in 1990.

Jarry was tested in the opening set by Greece’s sixth seed but gained his momentum in the second.

The 28-year-old won five consecutive points at 3-3 as he bounced back from 0-40, before wrapping up the second set by winning nine of the final 11 points.

Jarry then broke Tsitsipas in the decider for a 5-4 lead to eventually cruise into the last four.

Earlier on Thursday, Paul came through a marathon match to beat Polish seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to book his spot in the semi-finals.

The American had yet to drop a set before the quarter-final, but Hurkacz managed to force the match into the decider before Paul came out on top.

The match went back and forth with 13 breaks of serve overall. The pair exchanged breaks early in the opening set, with Paul breaking twice to lead 3-2. With Paul serving for the set, Hurkacz broke again to make it 5-5.

Paul broke back immediately and held serve to take the first set. The American made a strong start to the second, breaking in the first game, but Hurkacz came back, breaking twice to force a third set.

This time it was the Pole who took an early 2-0 lead, but they again exchanged breaks of serve to make it 3-3 before Paul made the decisive break to go 5-3 up, and then saved six break points to wrap up victory.

SWIATEK FACES SABALENKA IN DECIDER

On the women’s side, Iga Swiatek swept past Coco Gauff to reach the decider where Aryna Sabalenka will stand in her way of a third title and her bid to match a Serena Williams record.

World number one Swiatek eased to a 6-4, 6-3 win over US Open champion Gauff for an 11th straight clay-court victory while second seed Sabalenka defeated Danielle Collins 7-5, 6-2.

Poland’s Swiatek defeated third seed Gauff for the 10th time in 11 encounters.

Swiatek ended with 26 winners and broke her American opponent four times and now stands one victory away from duplicating the Madrid-Rome clay trophy double achieved by Serena 11 years ago.

The final will be a repeat of the Madrid final earlier this month won by Swiatek.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2024

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