Home favourite Lorenzo Sonego stuns Andrey Rublev in Rome
Italian star Lorenzo Sonego upset Andrey Rublev to reach his first ever Masters 1000 semi-final in front of his home crowd.
The 26-year-old was outplayed in the first set in Rome before battling back to beat the Russian 3-6 6-4 6-3 in two hours and 35 minutes.
Buoyed by a passionate home crowd on Grant Stand Arena, the Italian saved 11 of the 13 break points he faced to overcome the World No 7 and book a semi-final meeting with five-time champion Novak Djokovic.
“This is my favourite tournament in the world, I’m with my people here,” Sonego said. “I am so happy for this because I played every point. I’m really happy.”
Sonego will play his second match of the day as he faces Djokovic for a place in the championship match. The World No 1 rallied from a set and a break down to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in a two-day encounter on Centre Court.
“It’s a very emotional moment for me, playing in the semi-finals with Novak,” Sonego said. “He’s an unbelievable player. He’s the best in the world. I want to do my best.”
Lorenzo Sonego owns a 1-0 record against the 36-time Masters 1000 champion after thrashing the Serbian 6-2, 6-1 to reach last year’s semi-final in Vienna.
Whoever prevails in the semi-final will face either nine time champion Rafael Nadal or surprise package Reilly Opelka, who is yet to lose his serve in Rome this week.
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