22:56 – TIEBREAK, the Decider mode ON! Sonego starts 2-0, Thiem takes the lead 3-2. Here Lorenzo fire three great shoots, included one cross forehand incredible as angle. 4-3 and 5-3 Sonego! Thiem is OUT THERE! He boosts two STUNNING backhand down the line, so strong, fast and beautiful! 5 all. It is the decisive moment: Thiem runs to the net, Sonego hits a slow passing shot, soooo difficult to controll… Domi misses it !!! 6-5, Match Point Sonego !!!!! The Italian serve a big ball, Thiem’s return ….. is long! Game Set Match SONEGO! What a heart, what a head, what tennis the Italian. Well deserved, the dream of quarters in Rome come true. What a DRAMA to end the day, Good Night!!!
22:43 – Thiem serves for the match. 15 all, and 15-30 !! Hell of a legs Lorenzo, he returns everything back then advances to touch a non-deadly volley… inside!!! Lorenzo’s acrobatic return is ON THE LINE !!! Incredible, 15-40, two balls to re-open the match !!! No first serve… Domi takes a total risk, shoots a forehand that whitens the line, right in the outer corner. UFF! The second break point remains. And still second serve…. Try a S&V on the second serve, Sonego’s dies is into the net. Thiem misses another forehand, it’s third break point! A LOB is… Perfect from Lorenzo! Crazy, Sonego, NEVER DIES! 5 all.
22:37 – Thiem runs, strong in advantage, leads the rallies and forces errors of the Italian, who despite being at a disadvantage remains close to his rival, pushes and tries to comeback. 4-2 and 5-3 Thiem. On return, it’s Match Point Thiem! Sonego serves with angle, rush to the net and closes with a perfect volley. The score is 5-4 Thiem, the US20 champion, serves to close the match.
22:16 – Counter Break Thiem !!! The austrian raced into a 3-2 lead with two BREAK. Tons of drives with high RHYTHM, what he struggled to find throughout the match.
22:02 – BREAK SONEGOOOOOOO. From 40-15, Thiem collapses to the advantages. The Italian wins 4 points in a row, showing is huge courage and focus. 2-0, What a performance!
21:57 – Rublev wins! Double 6-4, he closes with a terrific forehand from three quarters. His trademark, the shot that makes all difference. Friendly hug over net, Andrey is in the quarters and waits for Sonego or Thiem.
21:44 – The fighting between Rublev and Bautista continues. 3 all and then 4 all. Intense rallies, great pace. Nice match for those who like a tennis of pure pression.
21:31 – Thiem has a rocket start in the tiebreak, 4-1 and then 6-4. Bravo Sonego with the backhand on the first, Thiem shoots hard with the forehand in the second and wins the set. 7-6, 1 set all
21:21 – Sonego saves 3 set points (from 15-40), with very hard rallies and hell of intensity. Lorenzo is tougher, he wins the point of 6 all, the set is decided at the tiebreak.
20:51 – 1h and 34 minutes, the scoreboard now is 4 all. Thiem stays so strong in his service games, but Sonego does not yield by an inch. We enter the final rush of the set …
20:41 – Rublev takes the lead! The Russian breaks the Iberian’s serve in the second game, plays under great pressure and escapes 3-1. How the ball runs fast on court!!!
20:23 – Rublev and Bautista entered on court for the last match of the day.
20:09 – Zverev comeback Nishikori! From 1-4 to 5-4 ahead. He closes strong at service, 6-4. Coming back completed, struggled a lot.
20:06 – 6-4 Sonego !!! The Italian closes at the tenth, very hard game. A well-deserved set, he played more courage and intensity. He took big risks and made big gains
19:49 – BRAVEHEART Sonego! He hammers with his forehand and runs forward in return. 0-30 and 30-40, snatches a ball for 4-3 and serves. Bravo Thiem with the serve. “Sonny” keeps pushing, and pushing, and pushing again. It’s second break point. Long rally and WHAT AN ANGLE SONEGO !!! BREAK! 4-3 ahead the Italian.
19:43 – GSM Svitolina! 6-2 in the second set, impressive rush by the former IBI champion. 23 winners and 11 errors for Elina, Spaniard ends the match with very negative numbers.
19:28 – Svitolina closed the first set 6-4, but now Muguruza ahead 2-1 in the second. The match advanced on continuous breaks, so there is still a long way to go …
19:20 – Just started Thiem vs. Sonego! Dominic serves, at 15 holds the first game. Excellent Lorenzo, well served and 1 all.
19:14 – 6-3 Zverev! Last game soooooo complicated: Aces, Double Fouls, big points and mistakes. Sasha secures the second set, we go third.
18:53 – WAKE UP CALL ZVEREV! Suddenly Zverev “turns on the light”. He finds a nice backhand cross, and hos tennis starts to roll again! Quick with his feet, anticipates and pushes hard with quality. He breaks Nishikori’s serve and in few minutes flies up 4-3. Maybe a different match has started?
18:36 – Nishikori takes the lead in the second. The Japanese continues to smash his geometric tennis; Zverev is continue up and down, some great shots, lots of mistakes Kei 2-1 ahead.
18:27 – Muguruza and Svitolina just start. The Ukrainian won twice in Rome, the Spanish has not yet managed to play a final. It’s a high-level match.
18:23 – Set KEI! The Japanese is so focused, at 15 secures the set. Zverev seems a little bit out of intensity.
18:10 – Ostapenko one step away from victory. On third, she leads 5-2 on Kerber, a last step to land in the quarters. Nishikori BREAK! He stays so strong, consolidates the lead, 5-3 ahead.
17:55 – Hell of a fighting on Pietrangeli! Zverev vs. Nishikori starts with a 14 point game, then Break and counter break. Every point is an hard rally. 3-2 Zverev the score.
17:40 – Shapovalov suffers all the tension of the moment, idoes not play the Decider well. He misses a drop shot, bad execution, and then Double Foul! Rafa eases 4-2 and then 6-2. 4 match points. A Denis backhand is long. Game Set Match RRRRRRRAFA! What a champion, never dies. On clay he is always the toughest opponent ever. Bravo Denis, great fight for over three hours, but he will not be able to forget the chance to go 4-0 in the second set, he had to close it there.
17:32 – The ending of the third is PURE THRILLING! Shapo tear off a break point on 5 all, in game played with tension, double fouls and errors. He saves, and on 6-5 he gains two Match Points !!! But Rafa saved it, SOOO GOOD in playing them with rallies with pace and high topspin. The Decider is here! What a match, 3h and 19 minutes of pure PASSION.
17:10 – 100. HUNDRED POINTS AHEAD, with the score that marks 5-4 Shapo, 40-30 Rafa to serve . A perfect first is the point 101 for Nadal. And 5 all. Out of popcorn?
16:58 – Game Match Match Delbonis! What a victory for the Argentinian, he finally lands in the quarters in an M1000 for the first time in his career.
16:40 – Break and Counter Break on “Centrale”. Shapo suddenly breaks Nadal’s serve game, has found again his best shots in the angles. The advantage does not last long: Nadal is very aggressive, boosts a beautiful LOB and then loads his drives with tons of top spin. 3-2- Shapovalov, Nadal serves.
16:30 – Delbonis after winning the first set 7-6 go ahead in the second via BREAK, 2-0. Pliskova 6-3 in the second, well done.
16:14 – Rafa is IN CONTROLL, flies 5-3 ahead, five games in a row. Denis is in clear difficulty now. He has lost that sensational timing and fluidity that made him fly up to 20 minutes ago. When Rafa rafa has moved the match on the fight, the tension grows and Denis’ tennis no longer flows so fluid. Shapo cancels a SET POINT to Rafa, moves 4-5. Rafa serve to close the set, and do his job. SET NADAL! 6-4. What a Champ Rafa!
15:50 – Rafa in the fourth game saves a very delicate break point. He finally wins a service game and starts grinding his tennis. He hurries Shapo in the fifth game. The fighting is huge, the tension reaches the stars. Shapo no longer plays free as before, his first serve doesn’t work and loses confidence. He loses the service game on third break point. The match turns in favor of the Spaniard. RAFA IS BAAAAACK!
15:35 – Break Denis! He play BIG, SO BIG. Timing, pace, quality. Break Rafa’s serve and runs 3-0 ahead.
15:12 – SET SHAPOOOOO !!!! Incredible performance of Denis, few times in his career so focused. Very few mistakes, many winning points. Rafa plays “ad Rafa”, but Denis anticipates with the backhand and verticalizes so well, or opens the angle in style. The ninth game is a real fighting. At the fourth set ball he closed the first set. Well deserved Denis!
14:50 – Nadal enters strong in the match. His ball is more consistent and continuous, starts hammering as only he can do on clay. Rafa breaks Denis and runs 3-4. Started the comeback?
14:45 – 7-5 Swiatek! The RG20 champion survives a very hard match, what an effort! 5-4 Pliskova, serves to close the first set.
14:25 – Off to a hot start Shapo! Denis starts VERY STRONG, Nadal is not so long in the rallies but the Canadian doesn’t miss anything. He loads with all his strength and breaks not one but TWO times Rafa! The score after 20 minutes is 4-0 Shapovalov. WOW.
13:45 – Game Set Match TsiTsi! Bravo Stefanos, holds (zero) his last services game, 6-2 the score of the second. PERFECT match by the Greek, he concede nothing, recovering in the tiebreak from 1-3 and winning 6 point in a row. Strong in defense, so fast in the rallies. Stefanos flies high, as confirmed by his place in ATP Race 2021: n.1! Matteo played a first set of great level.
13:32 – BARTY WINS, 6-3 6-3. Martic strong, comeback a set to Podoroska and closes 6-2 in the third. Krejcikova ahead 6-5 in the second after winning the first, Swiatek in serious trouble…
13:22 – BREAK Tsitsipas! The Greek continues to play FANTASTIC tennis, solid in defense, very fast and accurate in attack. He gets three break points, transforms the third by forcing the Italian’s forehand into the net. Berrettini served so BAD in the game, practically played without a first serve. 2-1 up the Greek.
13:00 – No breaks in the beautiful first set between Tsitsipas and Berrettini, it’s Tiebreak Time. Very very very high level so far! Matteo in the his 6 service game loses just 1 point. The Italian starts strong: he plays powerful and accurate, 3-1 ahead. Here the Greek raises his focus to the sky, he forces the rally on the backhand of the Italian who, on two consecutive points, tries to move to the left to hit with his forehand, but fails. Berrettini from 3-1 collapses 3-6. The Italian closes the set with an error near the net. 7-3 Tsitsipas. Very solid Stefanos, well deserved.
12:39 – Roundup from the other courts: Barty closed the first 6-3, 1 all in the second. Martic runs 5-0 in the second against Podoroska, third set in sight. Swiatek in serious trouble, down 2-5 with Krejcikova.
12:12 – Tsitsipas moves the score, holds at 15. Berrettini to serve. Matteo shows power and control, with 2 Ace and two sooooo soft touches, including a velvet volley. 1 all.
12:00 – Barty 2 all with Kudermetova, Podoroska 4-3 on Martic. Just started Krejcikova vs. Swiatek.
11:45 – OOOOOOOP OPELKA! Surprisingly, the US giant reaches the quarterfinals, 7-6 6-4 on Karatsev. Excellent as always in service, but today very effective also in the decisive points in return, tiebreak and decisive break. With 61% of first serve in, it was tough for Aslan, but he has to complain about the badly wasted set point in the tiebreak of the first set. Now Reilly awaits the winner of Delbonis vs. Auger-Aliassime. A semi-final is no impossible…
11:34 – Match Point GAUFF! Returning 5-3, the American try to close it here. Sabalenka risks a strong second service and save it. Cori is good in the rally, shots balls loaded with spin and angle, to move Aryna. A double fault and it’s MP Cori again! Second serve… Dies into the net a backhand from Sabalenka, Game Set Match Gauff! The young American will face the winner of Barty vs. Kudermetova.
11:21 – DJOKOVIC WINS !!! All too easy for Novak, he dominated the rallies and controlled the pace of the match. He eases 5-0 with a double break. He wanted to close in the sixth game, but does not convert 3 MP. He wins 6-1, on the third match point (sixth in total). 16 winners and 17 errors for # 1, but numbers aside, his difference was very clear. Awaits the winner of Berrettini vs. Tsitsipas.
11:17 – KARATSEV IN SERIOUS TROUBLE!!! Opelka is SO FAST to verticalize, gets a first break ball. Aslan cancel it with the first serve. Reilly snatches another one, and plays big: aggressive return, runs to the net, Karatsev’s passing shot is WIDE! BREAK !!! 2-1 To break the serve of the American could be almost impossibile for the Russian…
11:07 – Gauff wins the first set 7-5, the young American so good to resists the assault of her powerful opponent. 2 all the score in the second. Balance “in the breaks” between Pegula and Alexandrova in the second, 4 all with 4 breaks so far.
11:03 – 7-6 Opelka !!! Karatsev did not convert two set points, and marks the SHOT of the match, a terrific backhand defense, sensational. He missed the closing point, a comfortable backhand down the line. Reilly said “thanks!” and took the set, with a great forehand winner on 7-6. Now Aslan is forced to chase …
10:45 – 6-2 Djokovic! The Serbian with a double break easily secures the first set. Break on 4-2, closing in the eighth game. Davidovich Fokina does not seem to have the power to put in trouble the consistent game of # 1
10:44 – Sabalenka comeback Gauff, 4 all the score. The fight begins to win the first… Pegula closes NOW, 6-2 on Alexandrova.
10:32 – Rocket start for the women’s matches! Gauff ahead 4-1 on Sabalenka, Pegula 4-1 on Alexandrova. Everything sooooo fast this morning so far.
10:21 – Break and Counter Break between Davidovich Fokina and Djokovic! The Spaniard immediately sprints ahead, Novak replies “strong”. Fast start for Opelka vs. Karatsev, in the first 5 games only 2 points in return…
9:55 – Good morning Rome! This morning is really a “good” day for fans: the gates of the Foro Italico are open to the public! The program of day5 is very rich, as always on Thursdays. The # 1 and reigning champion Djokovic is about to begin, opposed to the Iberian Davidovich Fokina; the # 1 WTA Barty will follow vs. Kudermetova. Opelka and Karatsev are at warm up on Grand Stand Arena. Not before 12:00 Berrettini vs. Tsitsipas, what a match! On the Pietrangeli Gauff vs. Sabalenka, on Court 1 Alexandrova vs. Pegula. In the afternoon the super match Nadal vs. Shapovalov, Zverev vs. Nishikori, Muguruza vs. Svitolina, Rublev vs. Bautista Agut. To close the program, not before 7pm on the Grand Stand Arena, a Sonego – Thiem not to be missed. Let’s live this day together!