ATP Rome: Diego Schwartzman edges Denis Shapovalov to set Novak Djokovic clash



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ATP Rome: Diego Schwartzman edges Denis Shapovalov to set Novak Djokovic clash

A night after beating Rafael Nadal, Diego Schwartzman took down Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 in three hours and 15 minutes for the first Masters 1000 final! The Argentine won one point more than the Canadian, with six breaks on each side and a grueling battle from start to finish, both for the place in the final against Novak Djokovic and the top-10.

Diego had 25 winners and 27 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and having the upper hand in the shortest range up to four strokes. Shapovalov dominated with his first serve in the opener, although the problem was he served at only 42%!

Diego broke him twice and suffered one break to prevail 6-4 after taming his strokes more efficiently. Schwartzman held in the first game when Shapovalov sprayed a forehand error, earning a break at 15 when the youngster hit a double fault in game two.

The Canadian netted a forehand at 1-1 to deliver another game to his rival, holding at love a few minutes later with a smash winner to get his name on the scoreboard and reduce the deficit to 3-1. Both players served well in the next four games and the Argentine served for the set at 5-3.

Having one more chance to prolong the set, Denis forced an error from Diego to clinch a break and stay alive, squandering two game chances in the tenth game and netting another forehand to experience a break and hand the opener to his opponent after 48 minutes.

Raising his level, Shapovalov hit 17 winners and 15 unforced errors in set number two, getting broken once and earning two to clinch it 7-5, having the upper hand in the more extended exchanges. After four comfortable holds on both sides, Denis grabbed a break that sent him 3-2 up, confirming the advantage with a service winner to move further in front.

In game seven, Schwartzman survived two break chances to avoid further deficit before Shapovalov held at 15 to open a 5-3 gap. Diego held at love in game nine and broke back in the last moment when Denis served for the set, thanks to a costly double fault from the youngster.

Diego Schwartzman is through to his first Masters 1000 final.

The Argentine wasted a game point in the 11th game, suffering a break and creating a chance on the return, hoping to reach the tie break. Shapovalov saved a set point and clinched the set to force a decider, gathering momentum ahead of the final set.

There, Denis survived three break chances in the second game to avoid an early exit, breaking in game three with a smash winner. Schwartzman pulled the break back immediately to level the score at 2-2, ready to fight until the end.

The Argentine ent a forehand wide in the fifth game to give serve away and trail for the second time, with Shapovalov holding at 15 to forge a 4-2 advantage. Diego broke back in game eight, getting broken for the third time in the decider after a volley winner from the young gun at the net.

Denis served for the triumph, but it wasn't to be for him, netting a backhand to experience a break and bring Diego back to 5-5. They went into a tie break after two commanding holds, fighting for the place in the final.

Denis scored an early mini-break with a powerful return, sending a forehand wide in the second point to lose the advantage. The Canadian hit a double fault in the third point to fall behind, hitting a loose drop shot to push Diego 3-1 up.

The youngster pulled the mini-break back with a solid attack at the net, spraying a forehand error to send Schwartzman 4-2 ahead. Shapovalov leveled the score at 4-4 when Diego placed a backhand wide, making a backhand mistake of his own to keep the Argentine in front.

The Canadian fall 6-4 down following a weak forehand, with Schwartzman converting the first match point to advance into the first Masters 1000 final.