The Italian Open is getting to the later stages and day six would see the men’s quarter-finals play out. With all four of the top seeds, the field looked to be set for some incredible tennis.
Alexander Zverev-Cristian Garin
Cristian Garin is a former top-twenty player who has fallen on some hard times in 2022. Falling out of the top 100 in the year race, Garin was in desperate need of some good fortune and results. Luckily, he got both this week. First, Carlos Alcaraz was slotted to play Garin in his second-round match but Alcaraz withdrew after his title in Madrid last week. After that, Garin was able to make a run and string some wins together, setting up a quarter-final clash with Zverev.
Coming off his final in Madrid last week, Zverev has continued to find success in Rome this week. After taking out Sebastian Baez and Alex de Minaur, Garin stood in the way of Zverev and another semi-final. Zverev has yet to have an opponent up to his level and today proved no different. Zverev cruised over Garin in two sets to book his place in the final four.
Stefanos Tsitsipas-Jannik Sinner
Stefanos Tsitsipas had a stiff challenge in Jannik Sinner today. Not only was he facing the talented youngster but also the Rome crowd, which has been rowdy all week. If Tsitsipas wasn’t careful or got in a quick hole, the Italian crowd would have been all over him in an instance.
Fortunately, for Stefanos, he came out laser-focused today against Sinner. The players swapped breaks in the first set before heading for a tie-break to decide the first set. It was a high contested tie-break that saw Tsitsipas play the big moments better and he took the first set, 7-6(7-5).
After a long bathroom break, Sinner came out for the second set. Sinner began to look slightly hobbled by some kind of lower-body injury and would have the trainer come out to check on him. Meanwhile, Tsitsipas would keep the momentum, breaking Sinner in his first service game of the 2nd set. That would be the only lead needed for Stefanos, as he would go on to close Sinner out 6-2 in the second set.
Casper Ruud-Denis Shapovalov
Coming into this year, the consensus favorite for the clay-court season, other than Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, would have been Casper Ruud. After the shocking rise of Carlos Alcaraz and the brilliant consistency of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Ruud has taken a backseat to some of his peers. Throw in some bad results to start the clay season, and Casper Ruud was in desperate need of a good run in Rome.
Ruud has finally started to find some consistency this week and found himself in the quarter-finals to take on Denis Shapovalov, fresh off his upset of Rafael Nadal in the third round. Shapovalov came out firing and hitting spectacular shots, as Shapo is known to do. It didn’t matter to Ruud. He sat back and absorbed it all, took care of his serve, and forced the first set to a tie-break. Ruud would play well and get a little luck at 7-7 in the tie-break. He would take the first set over Shapovalov, 7-6(9-7).
Ruud would remain dazzling on his own serve, holding with ease throughout the second set. Shapovalov was the one having to escape danger time after time but continued to play some amazing tennis. Ruud would eventually break through at 5-5, breaking Shapo after a long, strenuous game. Ruud would serve the match out, securing his place in the semi-final.
Novak Djokovic-Felix Auger-Aliassime
Novak Djokovic was looking to win and secure, not only, his place in the semi-final but also the number one ranking going into Roland Garros. Djokovic has continued to look better with each match and all that stood in his way was Felix Auger-Aliassime.
It was a steady start for both men, who both held serve in their first few games. It was Novak who would have to save a break point early in the first set. Felix was unable to convert and would go on to lose his serve first in the set. Felix would break back to even the match but at 6-5, Djokovic broke Felix to secure the first set.
Felix did not go away after the disappointment of the first set. Djokovic would break in the second set and serve for the match at 5-3. Felix would break and force the second set to a tie-break. This is where Novak would really impose his will. Djokovic closed out Felix 7-1 in the tie-break to take the second set and the match.