Rome | Jarry and Paul upset higher ranked opponents

Two Chileans could be appearing in the final of the Rome Masters following the conclusion of the quarter finals on Thursday, when Nicolas Jarry stunned the favourite Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Monte Carloa champion and Barcelona finalist, to join his compatriot Alejandro Tabilo in the last four. Tabilo had secured his semi-final place 24-hours earlier.

I think beating Stefanos on clay is a good achievement. Certainly, happy with my fight today, for how I played and how I maintained myself, Nicolas Jarry

With their semi-final appearances on Friday, the pair become the first Chileans to appear together at this stage of a Masters level event. The last time that was achieved was in 2006 at an ATP 250 event in the capital of Chile itself, Santiago, featuring Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu.

On Thursday Jarry recovered from a set down to upset the world No.8 from Greece, 3-6 7-5 6-4 to record his fourth win over Tsitsipas in six meetings.

Tsitsipas had got off to an excellent start breaking the big serving Jarry to streak into a 3-1 lead in the opener and looked set to follow up his recent successes on clay over recent weeks.

However, in the second, Jarry kept pace with him and levelled the match at a crucial stage to win the set having held off Tsitsipas in the 7th game when the Greek held three break points which, had he converted one, would no doubt have seen him make the last four in straight sets.

Fate though, eventually favoured his opponent, though the decider was hard fought with Tsitsipas making the first break only to be hauled back and then broken for a second time as Jarry went on to claim the biggest win of on the tour after two-hours, 38-minues.

“I think beating Stefanos on clay is a good achievement. Certainly, happy with my fight today, for how I played and how I maintained myself,” Jarry told the packed Court Central crowd.

“I kept trying to find different ways to have chances on his serve. I knew I was playing good. I had to adjust some things in the backhand, so he didn’t push me back, that’s why he played so good. I was able to do those things and I’m extremely happy for the win.”

Tommy Paul scores his 150th victory

(Photo by ISABELLA BONOTTO/AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier, in the day’s afternoon session, Tommy Paul set the scene when he outlasted the world No.9, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz over two-hours, 42-minutes 7-5 3-6 6-3.

It was a thrilling quarter final which literally, went down to the wire culminating in a 15-minute final game in which the American Paul, held on to finally claim a hard-earned victory on his sixth match point.

To begin with in the decider the big-serving Hurkacz led with a break 2-0 but that was quickly erased. The two would trade four more breaks with Paul getting the better of them, winning six of the last seven games and finally booking his first Masters semifinal in that marathon ninth game.

The match featured 13 breaks of serve, with Paul striking 29 winners and making 41 unforced errors with his opponent nearly matching him with 22 and 44 respectively.

“I started well but it got away from me in the second and start of the third,” Paul said of his performance. “I had to stick around in the match.

“I found the energy to get it going again. I was hitting my forehand bigger and with more intensity because Hubii can really crush the ball. That was probably the key for me in the end.”

For Hurkacz, who won the Estoril Open clay title last month, the loss was only the third loss he has suffered this spring while the win for Paul marks the 150th victory of his career and his second consecutive win over a top ten player.

On Friday the semi-finals pitches Alejandro Tabilo against Alexander Zerev in the afternoon session while the Nicolas Jarry versus Tommy Paul encounter is the main feature in the evening.



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