Zverev overcomes Tsitsipas to set up title clash with Rublev - Eastern Mirror
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Zverev overcomes Tsitsipas to set up title clash with Rublev

By IANS Updated: Aug 23, 2021 12:46 am
Alexander Zverev, of Germany, returns a shot to Stefanos Tsitsipas, of Greece, during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament on Saturday. (PTI)

Cincinnati, Aug. 22 (IANS): Germany’s Alexander Zverev produced a superb comeback against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece to extend his winning streak to 10 matches and charge into the final of the Western & Southern Open here on Sunday (IST).

Feeling unwell and down a double break at 1-4 in the third set, the German clawed back to claim a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4) win and set up a title clash with world No. 7, Russia’s Andrey Rublev, who recorded his first victory over countryman Daniil Medvedev in his fifth attempt to reach his second ATP Masters 1000 final. Rublev won 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Zverev, the Tokyo Olympics champion played exceptional tennis in the first set, dropped his level significantly in the second set before finding his gritty final act. Having been deserted by his serve throughout the middle of the match, Zverev slammed three aces to take a 6-5 lead in the decider and then controlled the tie-break by going five for five on first serves, sealing the victory with a second mini-break.

“After the first break [to get to 2-4] I thought I had a chance and I felt he (Tsitsipas) wasn’t serving bombs and that I was in the rallies,” Zverev told atptour.com. “It was a little bit of the mentality that I had against Novak at the Olympics.

“It’s a great rivalry, there is a lot of fire and emotion there,” Zverev said. “And before the US Open we didn’t want to give each other anything, which is what the match showed. It was a great battle and the last matches we have played have been like that.

“I didn’t feel well,” Zverev said. “In the middle of the second set I felt low energy and my stomach wasn’t great. I broke him at 4-2 in the third and went outside the court and did my thing. I started to feel better, the doctor came out and gave me a little medicine and my stomach started to calm down a little. The energy came back but I think that was also adrenaline.”

Tsitsipas, who also reached the semifinals last week in Toronto, now heads to the US Open with a Tour-leading 48 match wins on the season.

Russia’s Andrey Rublev said after recording his first victory over countryman Daniil Medvedev in his fifth attempt that it had given him a lot of “confidence”.

“It gives me more confidence that I can compete against him. There are still so many things to improve, but It’s like you pass university and they give you a diploma,” Rublev said of getting his first win against the world No.2.

The fourth seed, who fell to Medvedev at the Australian Open in February, had not defeated the 12-time tour-level titlist in their previous four encounters. However, Rublev rallied in Ohio hitting powerful forehands to defeat Medvedev in two hours and 22 minutes and improve to 1-4 in their ATP head-to-head.

“Even when I was 2-6 down, the score should not have been like this because the points were so tight,” Rublev said. “The match was so intense, so many long rallies, super tough, super physical, super mental. A lot like a chess match.

“Medvedev is one of those players who won’t give you a chance to attack, but if I have enough power and chose the right moment, I have to be the one to make him run. In the end, I was trying to find the perfect moment to start being more aggressive to open the angles,” added Rublev.

By IANS Updated: Aug 23, 2021 12:46:50 am