Novak Djokovic stages thrilling fightback to reach Italian Open semis | Tennis | Sport

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Novak Djokovic staged a memorable fightback to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas and e-book his place within the semi-finals of the Italian Open.

Djokovic got here again from a set and a break down after play was suspended on Friday to run out a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 winner on centre court docket in Rome.

Tsitsipas took management of the matchup on Friday when he raced into an early lead, taking the primary set by six video games to 4.

And issues went from dangerous to worse for Djokovic firstly of the second set when he was damaged early by Tsitsipas to go 2-1 down as he discovered himself in serious trouble.

Djokovic was handed a stroke of fine fortune, nonetheless, when heavy rain compelled the suspension, then the eventual cancellation, of play after the third sport of the second set.

It meant Tsitsipas’ momentum was halted at an important second within the match, and gave Djokovic some much-needed respite after a nightmare begin.

When play resumed on Saturday morning, Djokovic returned to type and battled again into the match.

He edged previous Tsitsipas to declare the second set 7-5 to arrange a deciding set because the solar shone down on centre court docket within the Italian capital.

But, simply because it appeared the momentum was swinging again towards Djokovic, Tsitsipas discovered his finest type once more as he broke Djokovic early to take management of proceedings.

Tsitsipas then piled the strain on Djokovic, who had to fend off 4 break factors to maintain serve throughout a tense fifth sport within the deciding set.

The momentum swung once more as Djokovic then got here storming again to break Tsitsipas and convey the ultimate set again onto serve, and put the match again within the steadiness, at 3-3.

But Tsitsipas stayed targeted as he went toe to toe in a thrilling battle with the world primary and, after an epic rally, broke Djokovic for a second time within the ninth sport to declare what seemed just like the decisive benefit within the match.

It meant Tsitsipas had the prospect to serve out the match, however Djokovic confirmed his combating spirit to battle again once more to save the match and convey issues stage as soon as once more.

With Tsitsipas beginning to look demoralised and fatigued, Djokovic held his nerve, and his serve, in sport 11 to put the strain on Tsitsipas, and the Serbian transformed the second of three break factors to spherical out the 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 win and full a thrilling come-from-behind victory.

Djokovic will tackle the winner of the remaining quarter-final conflict between Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego and Russia’s Andrey Rublev, with a possible date with previous rival Rafael Nadal within the ultimate. Nadal takes on American Reilly Opelka within the first semi-final later this afternoon.

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