Alexander Zverev reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal in Rome
Alexander Zverev got through to his first Masters 1000 semifinal at the age of 20 after beating Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 in 89 minutes in the quarter finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
Zverev served at 77 percent and won 46 percent of the retun points converting on four of his five break points.
The young German broke serve in the seventh game to 15 to take a 4-3 edge but Raonic broke straight back in the next game to draw level to 4-4. Zverev broke again in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead but dropped his serve again. Raonic could not find a way to stop Zverev, who got two mini-breaks to clinch the tie-break 7-4.
Zverev dropped just three points in four service games and broke twice in the fourth and sixth games to cruise through to 6-1 in the second set to claim the win in 90 minutes.
The Next Gen player was playing in his third third Masters 1000 quarter final of the year after losing to Nick Kyrgios in Miami and to Pablo Cuevas in Madrid. He has already won two titles earlier this year in Montpellier and in Munich. He will play against John Isner, who beat Marin Cilic in three sets. In their previous head-to-head matches Zverev leads 2-0 against Isner.
Thanks to the semifinal in Rome Zverev will move up to world number 14 in the ATP Ranking.
“I feel like I have played very well today. I returned very well. I am very happy to be in semis and playing John tomorrow, whom I know very well. We practice quite a lot together in the off-season and do quite a lot of stuff together. It’s going to be a great match. I am excited for both of us. I know what I have done in the oof-season. I know how much work I did. I think if you do so much that, the result comes itself. I think that all put together, I think at some point it will come. I am very happy that it’s coming sooner rather than later, but at the same same time, i know what I have done and know how much work I did”, said Zverev.
Isner battled past Marin Cilic 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) in two hours and 37 minutes. The US giant dropped just six points on serve and took his ace total this week to 93. Cilic bounced back breaking serve in the second game and earned points for 4-0. The 2014 US Open champion broke again in the eighth game to force the match to the third set. Isner brought up the only break point chance at 3-3 in the decider but did not convert it. It came down to a second tie-break where Isner sealed the win when Cilic netted a backhand.
“I just felt like I kept my composure out there. I knew it was going to be a tough match. I felt like I played well when it mattered, and it’s good to win a match like that. I have certainly lost a bunch like that in the last two years”, said Isner.