Red-hot Tabilo continues dream run

CHILEAN 26-year-old Alejandro Tabilo‘s incredible run at the 2024 Rome International Masters ATP 1000 event is not done yet after the 29th seed defeated China’s Zhizhen Zhang in the quarter finals of the event. Both players were not expected to reach that far, but with Tabilo’s shock upset of world number one Novak Djokovic, it opened the draw up and now the world number 32 is one win away from the final.

In the match, Tabilo did enough to reach the last four, winning 6-3 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes. He served seven aces and won 83 per cent of his first serve points through out the match, while saving both break points he faced. At the same time, he broke Zhang twice in order to secure the victory and advance through to the semi-finals.

“I can’t believe it right now. I’m still trying to just soak this in,” Tabilo said post-match. “I’m just so happy. I felt pretty good on court, pretty solid. I was just trying to my job and play my best tennis.”

Rewind 12 months and Tabilo was ranked 190th in the world and battling it out on the Challenger Tour. Now, the Chilean has moved up to at least 25th in the world, and will be seeded for Roland Garros. The win over Zhang was his fourth consecutive victory, having only won seven main draw matches at ATP 1000 events in the past.

“It’s definitely the best tennis of my life right now, but I was trying to keep a poker face there, because inside I was so nervous,” Tabilo said. “Every time, trying close out the match gets a little bit tighter. So I was just trying to be loose, trying to smile out there at the end, and thank god I served so well at the end. That helped me close out the match.”

Tabilo has a day off to rest with the other quarter finals taking place tonight, but will set his sights on Top 10 talent and former Rome International winner, Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals. The German had a similar win to Tabilo, defeating American Taylor Fritz 6-4 6-3 for the 2017 champion to make the final four.

The two other quarter finals taking place tonight are sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas taking on Tabilo’s compatriot in 21st seed Nicolas Jarry, while Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz locks horns with American Tommy Paul.

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