In a match that went on for 2 days, Novak Djokovic made an epic comeback to come from a set and break down to knock out 5th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6,7-5,7-5. The Greek was leading for most of the match but it was Djokovic who had the last laugh in the three set epic at Foro Italico.
The opening set was played amidst light showers. Djokovic was clearly struggling keeping up the pace in the damp Clay. Tsitsipas broke his serve upfront and consolidated the break to take a lead early on. The match was again suspended due to rain and when the players came back on court, it was Tsitsipas who forced Djokovic to make costly errors to win the opening set 6-4.
Djokovic looked quick in the opening set. But again the rain gods spoilt his party. He was broken yet again and was trailing 1-2 before the play was suspended. What that meant was Djokovic had to come from a set and break down to win it tomorrow.
Djokovic completes an epic comeback
The play resumed from 6-4,2-1 in favor of Tsitsipas today at 11 a.m. local time. Tsitsipas was quick off the blocks once again and took a 4-1 lead before Djokovic used all his years of experience and class to break back and draw level at 5-5. He forced the 5th seed to do mistakes from the baseline. He found his rhythm and landed a final blow to close out the set 7-5 and take it to a decider.
The third set started with a bang as both players held serve. Tsitsipas was again the first to break and took a 2-1 lead but the World No.1 was on song with his backhand and broke back. But the Greek was not done yet. He broke Djokovic again convincingly and was serving for the match at 5-4.
But the 18-time grand slam was not done yet. From 4-5 down, he won the next three games, which include 2 breaks of serve to close out the final set 7-5 in a dramatic fashion. He will face Lorenzo Sonego in the semi-finals later today.