Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Russian Daniil Medvedev both won in straight sets to earn spots in the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome on Thursday.
The third-seeded Medvedev reached the semis on the clay courts for the first time with a 6-2, 6-2 win over German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The fifth-seeded Tsitsipas upended No. 15 Borna Coric of Croatia 6-3, 6-4 in a match that lasted just 15 minutes longer than Medvedev’s.
Medvedev and Tsitsipas will meet in the semis. Medvedev leads Tsitsipas 7-4 in career head-to-head.
“He’s been playing well and I’m playing (well) also,” Tsitsipas said about playing Medvedev. “I feel good on court, regardless if it’s a night session or a day session, and I really hope to bring the best out of me against him. I feel like he’s playing better than the years before.”
Tsitsipas improved to 13-3 on clay this season, winning 90 percent of his first serves against Coric. He also saved three of four break points while breaking Coric three out of four times.
“This is clay-court tennis, things escalated quite quickly. And there was a turning point, but accompanied by my great shot making, at the very important moments, I was able to retrieve that and get back and hold,” Tsitsipas said. “(I played) a great service game in the very last game, serving excellently and just feeling the energy point by point.”
Medvedev felt he was in good form before the tournament even began.
“I said before the tournament I was feeling really great in practice,” Medvedev said. “It is always a danger to say this if you lose the first round and you think, ‘Why did I say this?’ But I am feeling great.”
Medvedev peppered Hanfmann with eight aces but also committed seven double faults. But Hanfmann won just 32 percent of his first serves and the Russian took advantage, converting six of 10 break-point opportunities.
“I knew I had to put as many balls into the court as possible because he plays aggressively,” Medvedev said. “There aren’t going to be many points where you dictate, it will be mainly him. But what you have to do is play deep and try and make him miss. Maybe he didn’t play his best match but that is how it works. You can’t play your best match every day, and I am happy I could neutralize his attacking style.”
–Field Level Media