Tommy Paul continues his notable Rome campaign

Tommy Paul is the first American in the Rome Masters semi-final after Reilly Opelka

by Jovica Ilic
Tommy Paul continues his notable Rome campaign
© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Tommy Paul is through to his third Masters 1000 semi-final in Rome, the first on clay. After beating Daniil Medvedev, Tommy notched another top-10 win in the quarter-final at Foro Italico, ousting Hubert Hurkacz 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 43 minutes.

Thus, Paul became only the fifth American in the semi-final in Roem since 2000, following Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, John Isner and Reilly Opelka. Tommy and Hubert produced poor efficiency behind the initial shot, with 31 break points up for grabs!

The Pole landed in 54% of the first serve and dropped almost half of the points in his games, suffering seven breaks in his worst serving performance of the season. The American gave away 45% of the points in his games, offering his rival 18 break opportunities and denying 12.

Hubert led with a break in the decider before dropping the final four games, ending his run in the last eight.

Tommy Paul, Rome Masters 2024© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Tommy secured the win in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, while nothing separated them in the most extended ones.

Hurkacz denied a break point in the first game of the match with a service winner, avoiding an early setback. The Pole struggled behind the initial shot again at 1-1, spraying a forehand error and offering his rival two break chances.

The American converted the first with a forehand winner, moving in front and earning two game points in the next one. Hurkacz denied them and landed a forehand crosscourt winner to pull the break back and lock the result at 2-2.

The fifth game witnessed the third consecutive break, with Hurkacz spraying a forehand mistake and falling 3-2 behind. They served well in the next four games, and Paul served for the opener at 5-4. The Pole created four break points and seized the last after the rival's loose forehand, erasing the deficit and extending the battle.

Hubert Hurkacz, Rome Masters 2024© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Tommy Paul defeated Hubert Hurkacz in the Rome Masters quarter-final.

Instead of building on that, Hubert netted a routine forehand in the 11th game, losing serve at love and pushing Tommy in front.

Paul forced the rival's mistake in the 12th game, clinching the opener 7-5 after 58 minutes. Not stopping there, the American clinched another break at the beginning of the second set and created another break chance at 2-0, looking good to end the Pole's resistance.

Hubert denied it with a fine serve & volley combo and pulled the break back in the next one, leveling the score at 2-2 and gaining a boost. Hurkacz barely lost a point on serve in the rest of the set, keeping the pressure on the other side.

He grabbed a break at love in game eight after Paul's loose forehand, moving 5-3 in front and serving for the set. Hubert held at 15 after Tommy's backhand error, taking the set 6-3 and forcing a decider after an hour and 41 minutes.

Tommy Paul, Rome Masters 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Hurkacz took charge and grabbed a break in the first game of the final set after Paul's wayward backhand before holding after a deuce for 2-0.

Tommy pulled the break back in game four but played a wild forehand in the next one, allowing Hubert to clinch a break and open a 3-2 gap. Hurkacz played another shaky service game and failed to cement the advantage. The Pole denied three break points and wasted a game point after missing a routine forehand.

Tommy caused Hubert's mistake on a break point, leveling the score at 3-3 and returning to the positive side. Paul landed a service winner in game seven for a 4-3 advantage and made another push on the return in the next one.

The American landed a crafty return winner in game eight for two break points. Hurkacz sprayed a forehand error on the first, falling 5-3 behind and allowing Paul to serve for the win in game nine. The final game turned into a thriller and an ultimate challenge for Tommy.

Hubert Hurkacz, Rome Masters 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Hurkacz drew Paul's mistake, creating three break points. Hubert missed a routine forehand on the second and netted another on the third, bringing Tommy back to deuce.

Hurkacz fired a powerful forehand for the fourth break point, missing it after Paul's smash winner. The American saved the fifth break point with a service winner before facing the second after the Pole's fine attack and a smash winner.

Tommy saved it with a forced error and created the first match point. He missed a volley and squandered two more match points, keeping his rival alive. Paul generated the fourth match point after the seventh deuce and sealed the deal after Hurkacz's wayward forehand, closing the game after 15 minutes and moving into the semi-final.

The American will face Nicolas Jarry in a battle for the final, with both players having a massive chance to achieve a career-best result.

Tommy Paul Rome Masters Reilly Opelka