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Italian Open: Alexander Zverev beats injury scare to reach semis

May 16, 2024 11:13 AM IST

Alexander Zverev reached his 18th Masters semi-final in Rome on Wednesday after a hard-fought quarter-final clash. The World No.5 overcame early setbacks to defeat Taylor Fritz at the Italian Open.

Zverev won 6-4, 6-3, thanks to his strong serve and superb baseline play in the one-hour and 30-minute contest. His serve was nearly flawless, as he avoided any break points and maintained his undefeated streak in the tournament. He credited his improved serving for his confidence in rallies.

“That’s the shot I either win or lose matches with. That’s how it’s been my entire career. When I’m hitting that shot well, that’s when I win. When I’m not hitting it too well, that’s when I lose. That’s definitely the shot I’ve been working the most on in my career, also my serve obviously,” Zverev said in his on-court interview.

The German suffered a dramatic fall in the third game, tumbling on his stomach while recovering to the middle of the court after hitting a backhand return. He began bleeding from both hands and required attention from the physiotherapist.

Despite the fall, Zverev managed to break Fritz’s serve during that game (when he tripped while leading 0/30) and never looked back, securing a one-set lead. The 27-year-old showed no physical problems for the remainder of the match.

Zverev was nearly faultless on his serve, facing no break points and remaining unbeaten in the tournament. Now 26-9 for the season, he had a solid match against Fritz, converting 11 of his 17 net points, according to ATP Stats.

Zverev credited his strong serving for allowing him to play more freely in rallies. “That’s what gives you the security to take maybe a bit more risk from the baseline. It’s the most important shot for any tennis player,” he said.

“Taylor has been one of the best players on clay this year. To have a win like that is great for me, especially after the fall. I still have a little bit of pain, so once the adrenaline settles I’m going to check out tomorrow what it is. But definitely happy with the win,” Zverev added.

Next, Zverev will face No. 29 Alejandro Tabilo, who registered a second-round upset against six-time champion Novak Djokovic.

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Last updated on: 29th May 2024