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Rediff.com  » Sports » Jarry stuns Paul, sets up Italian Open final against Zverev

Jarry stuns Paul, sets up Italian Open final against Zverev

May 18, 2024 10:03 IST
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The Chilean, seeded 21st, is the first player from his country to reach a Masters 1000 final since Fernando Gonzalez in Rome in 2007.

Chile's Nicolas Jarry celebrates defeating Tommy Paul of the United States in the semi-finals of the Italian Open at Foro Italico, Rome, on Friday.

IMAGE: Chile's Nicolas Jarry celebrates defeating Tommy Paul of the United States in the semi-finals of the Italian Open at Foro Italico, Rome, on Friday. Photograph: Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

Chilean 21st seed Nicolas Jarry outclassed American Tommy Paul 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3 to reach the Italian Open on Friday as former champion Alexander Zverev recovered from a slow start to beat Chilean Alejandro Tabilo 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.

Jarry produced relentless power from the baseline, hitting 13 aces and 35 winners to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final in two hours and 44 minutes.

 

Jarry took a 5-3 lead in the opener, relying on his service before closing out the set with a brilliant ace.

Paul, the 14th seed, refused to go quietly in the second, pegging back the Chilean's 4-2 lead to force a tiebreak, which the American won to take the match to a decider.

Jarry started the third strongly and opened a 5-2 lead, winning 13 points at the net before securing victory when a Paul backhand went wide.

The Chilean, seeded 21st, is the first player from his country to reach a Masters 1000 final since Fernando Gonzalez in Rome in 2007. He will also move up in the world rankings to 17th.

"I think I played my best tennis. I gave it everything and went for it. I did that the whole match. It's hard to keep that level of concentration, but now I'm in the final," Jarry said.

"It was hard to enjoy it. I tried anyway. The important thing is that I came back with my best tennis in the third set and was aggressive. It's never easy to finish, but I did it and it's amazing the feeling I have now," he added.

Earlier on Friday, Zverev, who won the title in 2017 and reached the final the following year, looked in real danger when 29th seed Tabilo raced away with the opening set.

The 26-year-old, who beat world number one Novak Djokovic in the third round, was playing in his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, but did not look fazed as he broke Zverev twice in the first set.

Tabilo won five games in a row in taking the opener, but the second was much closer.

The Chilean did force the only break point of the set, but Zverev held and went on to win the tiebreak.

German Zverev raised his game in the deciding set, breaking twice, and was never threatened again en route to his first final of the year.

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Source: REUTERS
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