Red-Hot Chile Peppers Rome semis

FOR the first time in ATP Tour history, there will be double the Chilean spice on Rome Masters semi-finals day following Nicolas Jarry‘s incredible upset win over Stefanos Tsitsipas. The top ranked Chilean joined his compatriot and second ranked player from his nation, Alejandro Tabilo in the final four, marking the first time two players from the South American nation had reached the ATP 1000 Masters semi-finals together.

Both have now surpassed their previous best efforts, with Jarry coming from behind against the Greek star and 2022 Rome Masters finalist, winning the second set in a tight one then getting a break ahead to secure the victory, 3-6 7-5 6-4.

Tsitsipas is known as one of the best clay court players, having reached more ATP Masters semi-finals on the surface than any other active player outside of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. It should come as no surprise that Jarry had to scrap for everything, surviving a barrage of break point opportunities – 11 of 13 – and having to wait until the final game of the match to break his opponent in the deciding set to win.

“I think beating Stefanos on clay is a good achievement. Certainly happy with my fight today, for how I played and how I maintained myself,” Jarry said post-match. “I kept trying to find different ways to have chances on his serve. I knew I was playing good. I had to adjust some things in the backhand so he didn’t push me back, that’s why he played so good. I was able to do those things and I’m extremely happy for the win.”

Jarry hit 23 winners en route to the semi-final, having trailed 0/40 in the seventh game of the second set and looking like he would be broken and heading home from the Italian capital. Instead, the 21st seed fought his way back and broke in the final game of the second set to level the scores.

In a match that took two hours and 28 minutes, Jarry actually improved his head-to-head against Tsitsipas to a clear 4-2 record, and is now one win away from an ATP 1000 Masters final.

“I always practice, always trying to find ways to be better, be stronger, be happier, enjoying it more,” Jarry said. “The last two matches, I’ve enjoyed it a lot so that’s my greatest achievement so far. Happy for that and that it’s brought me into the semis. [I will] try to continue this path. I’m playing pretty well, I just want to maintain it. That’s the toughest thing of all.”

Jarry is up to his career-high of 18th as it stands following the win, and if he can defeat American Tommy Paul in the semi-finals, the Chilean could rise to 16th, with 15th the result with an unbelievable title in Italy. Paul meanwhile is up two places into 14th after defeating Top 10 talent Hubert Hurkacz in three sets, 7-5 3-6 6-3 in a match that took two hours and 43 minutes.

If Paul wins his semi-final he will rise a further place in the rankings, with 12th spot up for grabs – and the top American male ranking spot – if he is successful in the title. The most likely winner of the Rome Masters title – world number five Alexander Zverev – would overtake Daniil Medvedev in fourth with a victory.

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