Zverev denies all-Chilean final with comeback win

GERMAN Alexander Zverev is through to the 2024 Rome International Masters final after ending the run of Chilean Alejandro Tabilo and denying the chance at a first-ever all-Chile final at ATP 1000 level. The world number five has the chance to leapfrog Daniil Medvedev if he wins, having come back from a terrible first set to close out the match in three sets against the 29th seed.

Zverev won 1-6 7-6 6-2 to book his spot in the decider, with the 26-year-old making his 11th ATP Masters 1000 final and his first since his long-term ankle injury midyear in 2022.

“I was just hanging on in the second set. I brought my energy up. I was really just hanging on and waiting and the patience was kind of good today,” Zverev said. “He hit me off the court in the first set and I did not play well at all, but he was a big reason why. He gave me no rhythm and I am happy I turned it around in the tie-break and ran away in the third set.”

According to the ATP Tour insights from the match, Zverev converted just 46 per cent of his attacking points in the first set which led to the 6-1 loss, before playing far more aggressively in the second set to win 26 of 33 (79 per cent) and then only losing one of 11 in the third set.

A past winner, Zverev will be hoping to add to his 2017 title, having last lifted an ATP Tour trophy in September last year at Chengdu. It will also be his first deciding match at Masters 1000 level since Madrid more than two years ago.

Zverev won 80 per cent of his first serve points off a 69 per cent clip, making it difficult for the Chilean in the final two sets.

“If he plays the way he plays it is difficult to be aggressive,” Zverev said. “It is hard to just say I am going to hit my forehand harder or backhand harder. If I am just picking up balls it is definitely difficult to do that. The one thing I didn’t do well at the beginning was serve well. That was something I think doesn’t help. All in all, I am happy in the final. At the end, winning is the most important.”

The German will now take on another Chilean in Nicolas Jarry who also needed three sets to defeat a determined Tommy Paul, 6-3 6-7 6-3. In that match, Jarry won 67 and 53 per cent of his first and second serves, powering away 13 aces and breaking five times to three with a crucial break in the third set proving the difference.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments