Zverev Into First Masters 1000 SF
German breaks new ground in Rome
#NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev is through to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final at the age of 20. The German powered through the second set to defeat World No. 6 Milos Raonic 7-6(4), 6-1 on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
Zverev - who leads the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, which determines the eight-man field at the inaugural 21-and-under Next Gen ATP Finals – will face John Isner for a place in the final at the Foro Italico. Zverev, 12 years Isner’s junior, leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0. He is the first German through to the Rome semi-finals since Tommy Haas in 2002.
"It's another stepping stone in my career," said Zverev. "I feel like I have played very well today. I returned very well.
"So I'm happy to be in the semis and playing John tomorrow, who I know very well from our Saddlebrook days. We practise quite a lot together in the off season and do quite a lot of stuff together. It's going to be a great match. I'm excited for both of us."
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In his first meeting with Raonic, Zverev twice squandered a break advantage in the first set. The right-hander led 4-3 and also served for the opener at 6-5, but Raonic pegged him back on both occasions. In gusting conditions on Centrale, though, Zverev caught Raonic out at the net in the ensuing tie-break to seal a one-set lead.
From there, Zverev dominated. As Raonic’s challenge fell away, Zverev swept through the second set with two breaks of serve to claim victory in 90 minutes.
Zverev was contesting his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season, having also reached the last eight in Miami (l. to Kyrgios) and last week in Madrid (l. to Cuevas). The German has two ATP World Tour titles to his name in 2017, having lifted the trophy in Montpellier (d. Gasquet) and on clay in Munich (d. Pella).