Alexander Zverev chases first Masters 1000 crown in three years in Rome

Alexander Zverev defeated Alejandro Tabilo in the semi-final at Foro Italico

by Jovica Ilic
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Alexander Zverev chases first Masters 1000 crown in three years in Rome
© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Seven years after winning his first Masters 1000 crown in Rome, Alexander Zverev will seek his second Foro Italico crown on Sunday. Alexander faced Alejandro Tabilo in the semi-final and notched a 1-6, 7-6, 6-2 triumph in two hours and 17 minutes, remaining on the course toward his first Masters 1000 title since Cincinnati 2021!

Tabilo defeated Novak Djokovic in the third round and used that momentum to achieve a career-best result. The Chilean dominated the opening set against the German and served well in the second. Zverev endured the pressure, reaching a tie break and clinching it to force a decider and break the rival's resistance.

Alejandro took three points more than Alexander, thanks to the opening set. Zverev struggled behind the second serve, taking nine out of 25 points. Still, he played against four break points, losing serve two times in the opener and playing better after that.

Alexander Zverev, Rome Masters 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Tabilo faced only two break points in the opening two sets, failing to seal the deal and losing ground in the decider after experiencing two challenging service games.

Alejandro became too passive in the decisive moments, finishing with 13 winners and 14 unforced errors. Alexander landed 16 direct points and 11 errors, with little to separate them in service winners and the baseline points.

They stayed neck and neck in the shortest, mid-range and most extended exchanges, and Zverev made the difference with back-to-back breaks in the decider. Tabilo controlled the pace in the opening set, enduring one challenging game and delivering consecutive breaks for a notable advantage.

The Chilean kicked off his first Masters 1000 semi-final with a fine hold in the opening game of the encounter after a service winner. The German responded with an unreturned serve in game two after a deuce before his rival claimed the next one at love after another powerful serve.

Alejandro Tabilo, Rome Masters 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Alexander Zverev is seeking his first Rome Masters title in seven years.

Alejandro played well on the return in the fourth game, creating break chances with a fine drop shot that caused Alexander's mistake.

The Chilean forced another error from the former champion, delivering a break and forging a 3-1 advantage. A left-hander faced two break points in the fifth game, denying them with service winners and landing another for a hold and a 4-1 lead.

With nothing working his way, Zverev offered his rival three break points in the sixth game after a forehand error and got broken at love after Tabilo's forehand down the line return winner. Alejandro served for the opener in game seven and held at 30 with a drop shot winner, sealing the first set in 31 minutes and moving closer to a place in the final.

Tabilo faced no break points in the second set, keeping the pressure on Zverev, who raised his level in comparison to the opener, which was not that hard. They held after a deuce in games one and two, and Zverev clinched the third with an ace.

Alexander Zverev, Rome Masters 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Alejandro produced a hold at love in game four and landed another powerful serve two games later for 3-3. Alexander squandered a game point in game seven and hit a double fault to offer his rival a break chance that could have cost him dearly.

The German denied it with a fine forehand attack, closing the game with a service winner for a pivotal hold. The Chilean locked the result at 4-4, and they served well in games nine and ten to prolong the action. Zverev landed a service winner for 6-5, forcing his rival to serve to stay in the set.

Tabilo felt no pressure, closing the 12th game at love with a service winner and introducing a tie break. Alejandro led 2-0 but became too passive, losing the following three points and sending Alexander in front. The Chilean missed a backhand in the seventh point, falling 4-3 behind and facing three set points when the German claimed two points on his serve.

Alexander Zverev, Rome Masters 2024© Mike Hewitt / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Zverev landed a volley winner at 6-4, forcing a decider after an hour and 45 minutes and gathering a boost. The German barely lost a point behind the initial shot in the final set, keeping the pressure on the other side.

Alexander held at love in game two with an ace and created three break chances in the next one after Alejandro's loose backhand. A top-10 player seized the first after the rival's double fault, moving in front and landing an ace in the following game for a 3-1 advantage.

Tabilo suffered another break in the fifth game after a loose volley, falling further behind and moving closer to the exit door. Zverev held at 15 in game six, opening a 5-1 gap and forcing his opponent to serve to stay in the match.

Alejandro held at love with a service winner before Alexander served for the victory at 5-2. He created match points with a powerful serve and landed an ace on the first to seal the deal and move into the title clash.

Alexander Zverev Alejandro Tabilo
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