Tsitsipas will give stiff test to Zverev

ROME • Alexander Zverev is seeking his first tennis title of the season at the Italian Open, but the German must first overcome a tough challenge against Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals.

The Olympic champion beat Chile's Cristian Garin 7-5, 6-2 yesterday to book his place in the last four of the Masters 1000 event, while world No. 5 Tsitsipas got the better of Italian Jannik Sinner 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

"I think it was a high-level match, at times it wasn't pretty tennis but I got the job done and that's the most important thing," said world No. 3 Zverev, who is yet to drop a set in Rome. "I am through to the semi-finals and I am happy about that."

The 25-year-old, who won the title in Rome in 2017, proved too strong for Garin in their first meeting since the Chilean upset him on home soil en route to winning in Munich three years ago.

Tsitsipas, meanwhile, was made to endure a tiebreak but the 23-year-old soon got a firm grip on the match and cruised through the second set following Sinner's medical timeout in the first.

Separately, Rafael Nadal said that everyday training was a challenge and he would take a doctor with him to Roland Garros this month after he was once again hampered by a chronic foot injury in his loss to Denis Shapovalov on Thursday.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion, who only recently returned from a stress fracture in the ribs, struggled badly at the end of his last-16 match against the Canadian as he went down 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.

"I had my foot again with a lot of pain. I am a player living with an injury - it is nothing new. It's something that is there," said Nadal, a 10-time champion in Rome. "Unfortunately, my day-by-day is difficult.

"Even like this, I am trying hard... it can be frustrating that a lot of days I can't practise the proper way."

"It's true that during the French Open, Roland Garros, I'm going to have my doctor there with me," the Spaniard added.

The 35-year-old missed the bulk of last season due to the foot problem, before mounting a remarkable comeback to win the Australian Open in January and also prevailing in Acapulco a month later.

In the women's draw in Rome yesterday, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek defeated Canada's Bianca Andreescu 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 in the quarter-finals.

The Pole stretched her winning streak to 26 matches, the longest run since American Serena Williams racked up 27 victories in 2015.



S-finals: Singtel TV Ch127 & StarHub Ch211, 8.30pm

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2022, with the headline Tsitsipas will give stiff test to Zverev. Subscribe