Zverev reaches first Masters final in Rome

American tennis player John Isner used his powerful serve on Friday to prevail against Croatian Marin Cilic 7-6 (3), 2-6, 7-6 (2), taking him through to the semi-finals of the Rome Masters for the first time in his career.

And should he reach his first Masters final, he would be the youngest to do that at any Masters since Novak Djokovic in Miami in 2007.

"Obviously the Big four are still dominating tennis", said Zverev afterwards. After getting broken in that game she held at love in her next service game to end the set. "I don't have an easy draw here, a tough one", Nadal said.

Fognini, who beat world number one Andy Murray in the previous round, lost the first set 6-3 and his game deteriorated early in the second set, when the Italian argued with umpire Mohamed Lahyani over a Zverev serve. Women: Semifinals: Simona Halep bt Kiki Bertens 7-5, 6-1.

Isner raced to a lead, 5-0, with another ace but Zverev edged back to 5-6 before Isner finished it off with a forehand victor, 7-6 (5).

Overwhelming favourite Rafael Nadal continued his flawless streak on clay in 2017 with a 6-3 6-4 win over American Jack Sock.

On break point in the second game, Zverev slotted a cross-court backhand victor and consolidated with his second love hold.

Thiem, beaten to the Madrid Masters title by Rafael Nadal last week, avenged his loss by dumping Spain's former seven-time Rome champion out in the quarters yesterday.

Milos Raonic's Italian Open ended in the quarter-finals on Friday when he was defeated 7-6 (4), 6-1 by Alexander Zverev.

The Italian Open, a 1,000-point event on the ATP World Tour, is the last high-profile clay-court tuneup before the French Open begins May 28. But Zverev now also has his sights on a top-10 place should he claim an historic victory in Rome. Would one of the rising new generation become the fourth?

  • Julie Sanders