World number one Novak Djokovic was made to work hard to earn a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Serb fought back from breaks of his serve in the final two sets to reach his eighth consecutive semifinal at the Italian Open.
It was a match of two halves as it lasted for two days due to rain delay. While Tsitsipas was the better player on the first day, he was not able to hold on to his lead the next day.
In the post-match interview, the five-time champion said, “There are many things to say about today or yesterday’s match. It kind of felt like we played two matches… The one yesterday, where he was the better player. While he started better today also. I managed to somehow to hold my nerves [and] break his serve in the important moments in the second and third sets.”
He continued, “It was a bit of luck, bit of mental strength and the right tactics at the right time. One shot, not even a point, one shot really decided the winner today. I am just glad to be on the better side.”
Novak Djokovic eyeing a sixth title in Rome
Novak Djokovic has always been a formidable player on the red dirt. While he may have only one French Open title to show for it, he has won 10 Masters 1000 titles. With five of them coming in Rome, he will be the second favorite to lift the title after Rafael Nadal.
Up next is Italian Lorenzo Sonego, who upset seventh-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev. The local favorite will be high on confidence after beating Thiem and Rublev.
With the winner of the match between Nadal and Opelka waiting in the final, it does not get any easier for the Serb.
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