Novak Djokovic outlasts Stefanos Tsitsipas in thriller to reach semi-final
World No 1 Novak Djokovic battled past Stefanos Tsitsipas in dramatic fashion to reach a twelfth semi-final at the Italian Open.
The Serbian came from a set down and a break down in both the second and the third set to come through 4-6 7-5 7-5 in three hours and 18 minutes.
Despite a dominant first set from Djokovic, Tsitsipas took the opener after the Serbian converted just one of his six break point opportunities.
The Greek star also took the initiative in the second set with a break in the third game before rain halted play on Friday evening.
Upon resumption, Djokovic broke back to level at 4-4 before eventually wrapping up the set 7-5 on his fourth break point to force the decider.
Although momentum was firmly with the Serbian, a slow start from Djokovic saw Tsitsipas race into a 3-1 lead,
The Greek soon had four break points to extend his lead to 4-1, though was made to rue his chances as Djokovic levelled the set at 3 apiece.
Despite the missed opportunities, Tsitsipas broke the World No 1 in the ninth game to give himself the chance to serve for a place in the semi-final.
In typical Djokovic fashion, the Serbian immediately broke back before breaking in the twelfth to wrap up the contest in one of the matches of the year.
Novak Djokovic will now face Lorenzo Sonego in the semi-final later today after the Italian battled past Andrey Rublev in three sets.
A Roman Revival! 🇮🇹
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 15, 2021
(Photo credit Ray Giubilo)
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