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Italian Open 2024 semi-final: Alexander Zverev prevails over Alejandro Tabilo, as Chilean runs out of steam after first set magic

Alejandro Tabilo unleashed a flurry of drop shots to race to 6-1 in the first set, and after a hard fought second, it was Zverev who was in charge until the very end

Italian Open 2024 semi-final: Alexander Zverev prevails over Alejandro Tabilo, as Chilean runs out of steam after first set magic
Alexander Zverev becomes the first finalist of the Italian Open 2024, after beating Alejandro Tabilo in three hard fought sets

Last Updated: 10.04 PM, May 17, 2024

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When Alejandro Tabilo and Alexander Zverev took to Centre Court in Rome for the first semi-final of the 2024 Italian Open, they’d not played each other before. Tabilo was the one who sent Novak Djokovic packing, and yet, the No. 5 seed Zverev was the one that everyone thought would be an easy shoo-in into the final. He was the one heading to the final, but Tabilo made him sweat a bit to get there.

The 26-year-old Chilean, was in no mood to make this a cake walk for Zverev. He took the first set off Zverev (6-1) in only 31 minutes, breaking the latter twice. The highlight of this set and for most of the match was just how unrelenting he was with the drop shots. From the baseline, the southpaw sliced his volleys with such precision that the ball would drop just past the net, spin and have barely any momentum left in it. And each time, poor Zverev was left stranded miles away.

In the second set, though, Zverev got his act together and while Tabilo did not let off on the drop shots and winners, the duo went without breaking each other to a score of 6-6. This was the day that Zverev’s serve deserted him, beginning the tie-breaker with a double fault, his fifth of the match. But that jittery start didn’t last long, as he went on to win the tie-breaker 7 – 5, to take the set 7-6 and head into a third set decider.

The brilliance Tabilo showed in the first set, deserted him as the match progressed
The brilliance Tabilo showed in the first set, deserted him as the match progressed

By the third set, the Tabilo who began the match with such flare, was nowhere to be seen. There were errors galore and Zverev capitalized on that, breaking the Chilean early. The German continued to exert this pressure, closing out the set and the match at 6-2. He will now take on the winner of the second semi-final between Tommy Paul and Nicolas Jarry.

The Italian Open Men’s Singles Finale will be held on May 19 at the Centre Court in Rome. The women’s final between Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka is on May 18. Viewers in India can, however, only watch the men, as the streaming partner, SonyLIv does not have WTA rights.

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