Rising Italian star Lorenzo Sonego showed his class after beating former world No. 7 Fernando Verdasco to progress into the Kitzbuhel semifinal. Sonego, seeded at No. 7, handed a straight-set defeat to Verdasco 6-4 6-4 to tie their head-to-head record at 1-1.
World No. 56 Sonego recovered from an early break down before he broke Verdasco in the 10th game to win the opener. The 24-year-old once again came up big when needed most as he broke the Spaniard in the 10th game of the second set to put an end to the match.
"I had to save eight match points in the first round and one in the second round. Today wasn’t easy either, playing against an incredible player like Verdasco," Sonego said post-match, per Tennis TourTalk.
Next up for Sonego will be No. 1 and back-to-back French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem, who beat Pablo Andujar in his quarterfinal clash. Sonego, who recently lifted his maiden ATP title in Antalya, admits it won't be easy against Thiem but insists he won't back down when he meets the Austrian.
"I have a good feeling and I enjoy every moment here. It won’t be easy against Thiem but I will try my best and then we will see," Sonego claimed. Sonego and world No. 4 Thiem will be meeting for the first time in their respective careers when they clash on the clay courts of Kitzbuhel.