Zverev and Jarry both win to set up Italian Open final meeting

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Zverev and Jarry both win to set up Italian Open final meeting

Alexander Zverev and Nicolas Jarry will contest the men’s Italian Open final on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, after securing victories over Alejandro Tabilo and Tommy Paul respectively in Rome. 

For about an hour, Zverev had no answer to the rocket-like forehands and perfectly placed drop shots that Chilean Tabilo kept producing.

The fifth-ranked Zverev kept patient, though, and took his chance when it came as he rallied for a 1-6 7-6 6-2 victory over his unheralded opponent.

Later, Chilean Jarry also won his semi-final in three sets 6-3 6-7 6-3 against American Paul, booking his very first Masters 1000 final spot.

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Highlights of Nicolas Jarry’s clash with Tommy Paul in the Rome semi-final

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“I was just hanging on in the second set. I brought my energy up,” Zverev said. “He hit me off the court in the first set and I didn’t play well at all, but he was a big reason why. He gave me no rhythm.”

Zverev, the 2017 Rome champion, had the pinky finger on his left hand bandaged following a fall to the clay in his previous match, after which he said his finger was “crooked.” The German plays right-handed but uses a two-handed backhand.

He said his pinky was swollen and that he was using pain killers. “I tore a capsule, but I didn’t break any bones,” Zverev said. “The finger is still very, very big. It was manageable.”

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Image: Fifth-seeded Zverev is a previous Italian Open winner, having beaten Novak Djokovic to win the title in 2017

Sunday will be Zverev’s third final in Rome. He won in 2017 by beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets for his first Masters Series title. He lost to Rafael Nadal in the title match a year later.

“I’ve been here before,” Zverev said. “I know what it takes and hopefully I can use that.”

Rome is the last big warmup tournament before the French Open starts on May 26.

The 32nd-ranked Tabilo eliminated top-ranked Djokovic in the third round last week, and hadn’t dropped a set in the tournament until a series of errors helped Zverev win the second-set tiebreaker. Zverev then took control early in the third.

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