Rome, May 15 (EFE) – World number 1 Novak Djokovic advanced to the last four of the Masters 1000 in Rome after coming back from a break down at 4-5 in the deciding set to win 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Serb sealed his 70th semifinal in the Masters 1000 tournaments after a marathon clash that lasted three hours and 16 minutes, having started on Friday before rain interrupted play.
Djokovic, a five time champion in Rome out of 10 final appearances, won his fifth victory over Tsitsipas in their seven meetings. The Serb has never lost to the Greek on clay.
It took a huge effort to overcome Tsitsipas, who was ahead by a set (6-4) and a break up in the second frame.
He was leading 4-2 in the second set, but Djokovic managed to break back and force a deciding third, in which he was again on the ropes.
He lost serve at 1-1 and threw his racquet to the ground in frustration. Despite recovering that break, he lost serve again at 4-4, allowing Tsitsipas to serve for the match.
But Djokovic did not stop fighting and returned the break to take a 6-5 lead. It was a psychological blow for the Greek, who failed to hold his serve and surrendered it to 15.
Djokovic signed an epic victory and will face in the semifinals, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, the Italian Lorenzo Sonego, who beat Russian Andrey Rublev. EFE