Zverev claims emotional win at Monte Carlo, sets up semifinal with Tsitsipas
Monaco, April 16 (IANS) In a nail-biting match at the Monte Carlo Country Club, Alexander Zverev of Germany got out his best form in the tie-break of the deciding set as the second seed eliminated Jannik Sinner of Italy 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (5) to reach his second semifinal at Monaco.
The two players produced 10 breaks in total in the marathon match which lasted over three hours.
The German fought back twice from a break down in the third set and finally forced the tough battle to a tie-break before the 24-year-old Zverev sew up the win 7-5 after Sinner's backhand netted.
"It means a lot, definitely, especially with how this year has been going so far for me. I have lost long matches like that, so I'm happy I won this one," said the emotional Zverev, who roared with delight on the winner.
Storming into the quarterfinals without dropping a set, the world No. 3 has the opportunity to close the gap with Serbian Novak Djokovic and Russian Daniil Medvedev on the ATP rankings, as he will move within 235 points of top-ranked Djokovic if he finishes the week with a title in the opening clay-court Masters of the season.
Zverev had already tasted the victory in Rome and Madrid, meaning that Monte Carlo is the only ATP Masters 1000 tournament on clay court that he has never won.
Next for the German will be defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who has also survived a three-set thriller to advance.
Under the floodlights on Court Rainier III, the third seed squandered a 5-2 lead in the second set, before clawing back from 0-4 down in the decider to secure the victory 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-4 after two hours and 45 minutes.
"There was a moment in the match where I felt like what I was trying to do out on the court wasn't really working. I wanted to stay as long as possible on court. I loosened up a little bit and focused on shot after shot ... that worked out very well," said Tsitsipas.
The other semifinal will see a clash between two unseeded players, Djokovic's conqueror, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain knocked out 10th-seeded Taylor Fritz of the U.S. 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to line up his first semifinal in a masters event with Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who edged Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) to advance.