Local hope Sonego stuns Rublev in Rome to set up Djokovic semi

DailyTimes  |  May 16, 2021

ROME: Lorenzo Sonego defeated world number seven Russian Andrey Rublev on Saturday, continuing his dream run at the Rome Masters and becoming the first Italian semi-finalist at the event in 14 years with a come-from-behind 3-6 6-4 6-3 win. Following his wins over U.S. Open winner Dominic Thiem and former world number six Gael Monfils in previous rounds, the 26-year-old Sonego becomes the first local man in the semi-finals of the Masters 1000 event since Filippo Volandri in 2007. The 33rd-ranked Italian will have loud support from the stands when he returns to the court for his semi-final later on Saturday against top seed Novak Djokovic. The Serbian world No. 1 was trailing 6-4 2-1 against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas when the match was halted by rain on Friday but rallied to a 4-6 7-5 7-5 win on Saturday. Djokovic’s match on Friday was suspended twice but he raised his game at crunch moments to twice come back from a break down in the deciding set on his way to the semi-finals for the eighth straight year. Second seed Rafa Nadal will compete against big-serving American Reilly Opelka in the other semi-final.

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