Zverev the victor in close duel with Sinner, reaches Monte-Carlo semi-finals
The second seed outlasted the ninth seed in a gladiatorial contest
The longest contest of the week resulted in Alexander Zverev reaching the Monte-Carlo Masters semi-finals at the expense of Jannik Sinner, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Sinner has shown in recent days that he doesn’t mind at all having to come from behind, and he proved it again here, going 4-1 down quickly before bringing it back and rounding off the first set with an ace. That was the first set Zverev had dropped all week, with his second serve and forehand quickly crumbling under the Italian’s tenacity.
The physio came out to attend to Zverev after the fifth game of the second set, with the German leading 3-2. He received some treatment to what seemed to be his right hamstring. Sinner took the opportunity to slide his left foot out of his shoe, suggesting a struggle with some blisters, and it was certainly he who was moving with less ease when the match resumed, allowing Zverev to break and take a 5-3 lead before serving out to force a decider.
Sinner wheeled out the occasional moment of brilliance – a sensational cross-court backhand here, and a whipped forehand there – but it was Zverev who had the stamina to see out a lengthy tiebreak. The 20-year-old missed a very achievable forehand at 5-5, gifting his opponent the chance to seal the win after three hours and seven minutes of intense, high-quality competition. Zverev looked to be in tears after the victory, and applauded his adversary off the court.