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LIVE BLOG: Djokovic def. Ruud, will face Tsitsipas

Follow all the emotions of the semi-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia live from Foro Italico

22:20This great W is historic for Novak: it is his # 1000 in his career! Diego Nargiso welcomes him to the center of the court with a beautiful cake that celebrates this incredible record.

22:15 – Djokovic easily runs 5-3, Ruud serves to stay in the match. On 15-30 Casper hits an excellent first serve, 30 all. It was his last point of the match: fires out with forehand, 30-40 -> Match Point Djokovic! Long rally, Novak almost made that backhand. Stunning shot, to close the match! Djokovic Wins! Nice handshake between the two. 6-4 6-3 the final score, the # 1 in the world will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the IBI22 final.

22:10 – We go on serve, until 3 all. Ruud to serve, now things change. Djokovic increases his pressure, has 3 break points, but Ruud cancels them all, with great resistance. The Norwegian cant’s stand the relentless pressure of the “Djoker” on the forth break point. BREAK Djokovic, leads 4-3 and serve.

21:49 – We go on serve, no break point. Ruud is aggressive with any shot, return included, he’s playing a perfect match as tactics. But Djokovic is hard as steel. 2 all.

21:39 – Solid game by Ruud at the opening. He finds great power and depth also in return, but Djokovic doesn’t back away from the baseline and force on Norwegian’s backhand. 1 all.

21:30 – 6-4 Djokovic. Novak secures the first set, extremely solid and concrete in the tenth game. He closes at the second set point, with an unbearable forcing on Ruud’s backhand. 55 minutes, more mistakes than winners but a good level of tennis, even if with very few variations.

21:18 – Djokovic serves 5-2 to secure 1st.. Maybe Novak got a little distracted (there was a small break in the previous game), hits a terrible drop shot and forces out in the rally. 30-40, Ruud ha a break point. Another long rally, Casper stays strong, Novak hits a forehand just long! Sudden BREAK for Ruud, serves 3-5.

21:07Djokovic with backhand cross produces a mix of speed, depth and rotation that for Ruud is almost unbearable. And when Ruud boosts ad his best with the forehand – his best shot – he fails to break through Novak’s resistance, too good in throws Ruud back to the left. Hard, very hard for Casper tonight… 5-1 Djokovic.

20:5823 minutes, 4-0 Djokovic. Ruud didn’t even play badly, his rival is simply stronger in every part of the game. Impressive start from Djokovic.

20:47NO, NO INVENTES !!!! What a shot played by Djokovic! On 2-0, 30 all, Ruud hits a powerful, angled, perfect inside out forehand, a winner against almost all opponents. Almost … Novak sprints, stretches, with an impossible balance fires a backhand down the line standing with his feet out of the corridor. The balls lands IN. This is not real. 3-0 Djokovic with a double break.

20:40 – Ruud starts with great rhythm, pushes the ball with power and so closed to the line, but… Djokovic is out there! Novak first defenses, takes control of the rally and shots a winner. The law of the “Djoker”. Immediate break, 1-0 Djokovic. Casper is already forced to chase.

20:35 – Here we are, the evening session begins. Ruud to service. His opponent: Novak Djokovic.

19:40 – More to come @ Foro Italico: Djokovic vs. Ruud soon on Centre court.

19:35 – JABEUR !!!!!!! On 6-5 Jabeur, Kasatkina to serve, Ons has the match point and with a deadly drop shot …. closes it! What a game, UFF! Tons of emotions, many errors but lots of spectacular rallies and shots. Jabeur wins 6-4 1-6 7-5 in 1 hour and 54 minutes. She will face Iga Swiatek in final, her second WTA 1000 final in a row after Madrid.

19:30 – The final match is a deadly rollercoaster. Jabeur has the chance to run away, but can’t get it. Kasatkina breaks, serves 5-4 up and has a Match Point… that Jabeur saves with an incredible drop shot! Jabeur forces the set to 5 all, then 6-5 ahead. Showtime!

19:17 – Jabeur takes the lead, 4-2 – Kasatkina breaks back, 4-3. Great fighting on “Centrale”, it is the decisive phase of the match. Daria is leading the rallies on power and rhythm, Ons changes angles and rotations. Total difference between the two styles of play.

19:01 – With a tremendous forehand Kasatkina holds, 2 all. She canceled a total of 4 break points in the game.

18:53 – Third set. Jabeur holds and gets a break point in return, but Kasatkina is very solid. 1 all. Hard fighting to come?

18:42 With a superb backhand, Kasatkina secures the second set, 6-1 the score. Daria raises the pace of the rallies and never let it go, has not conceded any break points in the whole set. We go third.

18:38 – Good, good Kasatkina right now. She keeps high the pace of the rally and is so fast on court, she does not allow Jabeur to slice the ball. 4-1 ahead Daria, 30 all the score with Ons to serve. An error with the backhand costs the Tunisian the 1-5 ball. . . Ons attacks with the forehand but the ball is juuuuuuust wide! 5-1 Kasatkina.

18:26Big return game for Kasatkina, included a standing-ovation forehand down the line. At 15 she takes the game and moves 2-0 ahead.

18:16 – Jabeur serves for the set, has to defend from Kasatkina’s last assault. She saves two break points at 15-40 with fast legs and big heart. Daria smashes out her return on the first Set Point. 6-4 Jabeur, 36 minutes. Well Deserved Ons, she led the game, create tennis and fun.

18:12This is serious from Ons, a real good one! Jabeur shines passing from defense to attack, moves on her left and fires an inside out forehand, beautiful winner who leaves Daria still. Two break points at 15-40. Jabeur takes the break, with a deadly the forehand from the centre of the court. Jabeur 5-4 and serve.

18:00Jabeur just hit her winner # 800 in 2022. She’s the player to have scored more on the WTA Tour this year.

Ons Jabeur (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

17:57 – Kasatkina moves 3-1 ahead, another break, and saves a ball from the counter break at 30-40. Ons hits a WONDERFUL return cross court, another ball for the 2-3. What a backhand Ons! The Tunisian takes the fifth game with a beautiful winner down the line, 3-2 Kasatkina the score.

17:43 – The second female semifinal begins. Kasatkina starts on serve, but is Jabeur to jump off the blocks. 4 points and immediate break. Kasatkina breaks back immediately! 1 all.

17:14 – The Greek is the first male finalist in the IBI22! 4-6 6-3 6-3 the score of a match. Stefanos’ consistency and fewer errors prevailed (29, against Zverev’s 41). Tsitsipas was more aggressive, had less pauses and uncertainties than Zverev. Too many up and down during the match. Stefanos awaits the winner of Djokovic – Ruud.

17:11 – Zverev serves on 3-5, but has surrendered. He misses in the rallies balls that he usually controls on autopilot… Poor tennis and 0-40, 3 MATCH POINT TSTISIPAS !!! Another bad execution with the backhand costs Zverev the last error, it’s over !!! STEFANOS WINS!

16:53 – BREAK TSITSIPAS! A terrible double foul costs Zverev the break point, the first one in the third. Long rally, … up to a so deep forehand by Tsitsipas. Here Zverev is too slow to make room for the ball, his forehand is out of control and the ball dies into the net! Tsitsipas leads 3-2 and serve. That’s serious now…

16:42 – Third set, we go on serve. Some fantastic rallies, for the first time in the match they both play their best tennis. And the show is rising! 2-1 Zverev, Tsitsipas to serve.

16:26 – 6-3 Tsitsipas! Terrific effort by Stef in this set. His forehand is doing some serious damage…The Greek secures the set with an incredible first serve, the ball is tight and jumps up to the sky, not even Zverev’s infinite arms manage to put it back on court! Only 50% of first balls in for Sasha, poor one to stay in the set. Negative balance between winners and errors: 7-13 Tsitsipas, 8-16 Zverev. We go third.

16:17“Solid… solid ad rock”, not the musical hit, is Tsitsipas on serve. He closes the seventh game with an Ace, leads 5-2. Zverev needs a miracle in return to stay in.

16:13Zverev on a rollercoaster in his serve games… He saves two break point, the second with a smash that is anything but easy, almost from the baseline. He tries to advance his position on court and be aggressive, but makes too many unforced. Just his serve keeps it alive … 2-4.

16:02 – Zverev wins his first game of the second set at 30, but is poor in return games, his position on court is TOO far from the baseline. “TsiTsi” has all the time to step on the baseline, be aggressive with his (excellent) forehand, hit in the open corner of the court and via the net, to take the point. 4-1 Tsitsipas, the Greek in control of the game in this phase of the set.

15:53 – Hard fighting in the third game, Stefanos faces and saves 2 break points, Zverev pushes as hard as he could with his backhand, but Tsitsipas leads the rally and comes to net. 3-0! Great moment for Stefanos, now in control of the set.

15:44 – Tsitsipas eases in the first game of the second set, stays strong in return and flies 15-30 ahead. Zverev is perfect on serve, 30 all. In the next rally, the German is first to go out (forehand just wide), Break Point Tsitsipas! And… it’s BREAK Tsitsipas! Stef takes the lead, 2-0.

15:356-4 Zverev! Sasha secures the first set with a perfect service game, Tsitsipas can’t do anything. Just 4 winners for Stefanos, 12 for Zverev. Now is the Greek to chase …

15:22 – Here is the first shock of the match. 3 all, 30 all. Stefanos tries a drop shot with the forehand, seeing Zverev far behind the baseline, the very first attempt of his match. The execution is totally wrong, the ball dies in the net. Break point for Zverev. And… the break arrives !!! 4-3 and serve Zverev.

Alexander Zverev – Foto Giampiero Sposito

15:11 – Tsitsipas wins the fifth game with an excellent forehand, 3-2 ahead the Greek. One of the tactical keys of the match stays in Stefanos’ ability to manage the rally with his forehand, and in Zverev’s ability to force the rally on cross court backhand, the diagonal that control at his best.

15:03 – The fourth game goes to ADV. Sasha closes it with a fantastic backhand volley. There is tons of electricity out there, the two are rivals for real …

14:53 – We go on serve. Both Zverev and Tsitsipas are very aggressive, no tactical rallies, they try to put their rival in defense. 1 all.

14:43 – Warm up on “Centrale” is finished, the first men’s semifinal is about to begin. Stefanos Tsitsipas to serve. Ready? Play!

13:31 – At 2.30 pm the first men’s semifinal: Stefanos Tsitsipas against Alexander Zverev.

13:27 – Game Set Match Swiatek! Closes at third match point Iga, thanks the crowd with raised arms. That was SOME performance from Swiatek, 6-2 6-1 the score of the first semifinal of the IBI22, 1 hour and 19 minutes the duration of the match. The Pole was too good today, impressive in return, too fast on court. Sabalenka can’t do anything to turn things out. 63 point won by Swiatek, 36 Sabalenka. Almost the double…

13:11 – Sabalenka calls the medical time out, gets a massage on the lower back lying on the ground.

13:09 – 4-0 Swiatek. Sabalenka is not able to put pressure on Iga’s serve, and now is her under tremendous pressure serving again. With a tremendous forehand loaded with all her strength, Aryna saves the break point that would have condemned her to 0-5. Sabalenka tries a drop shot, the first of her match, and it’s a good one. 1-4 the score. She avoided the bagel, which Iga dispensed to its rivals in industrial quantities this year…

13:01 – This is gonna be tough for Sabalenka to overcome now. Swiatek in return is almost unplayable. Aryna has enormous pressure on serve, so much that she falls in a double fault that costs her 0-3. Double break ahead the Pole, but neither are the numbers and the score that weigh tons on Sabalenka’s shoulders… It’s the inability to keep Iga “still”! Too quick on court Swiatek, she attacks Aryna immediately.

12:39Swiatek secures 6-2 the first, a set dominated with quality and intensity. In the last game, Iga plays an exceptional demi-volee, a beauty. Top class!

12:35 – IGA! That was ridiculous by Swiatek. On 4-2, 0-40, Swiatek return on a powerful and accurate first serve is on Aryna’s feet. A deadly depth, Sabalenka is forced to retreat two meters. From that position, she fails to defend from the spin-loaded forehand down the line of the Pole. BREAK Swiatek, 5-2 and serve after 27 minutes for Iga. Stunning.

12:16 – Swiatek – Sabalenka has just started. The quality in return of the two is much better than service. Three games, three break! In the this match the classic “break term” has no sense… 2-1 Swiatek so far.



11:30 – GOOOOOOD Morning Rome !!! What a beautiful sun this morning, everything is ready for an incredible Saturday @ Foro Italico. It’s semi-finals day: on “Centrale” (12 am) Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka will open the program. Aryna tries to stop the streak of 27 wins in a row of the WTA No. 1, the Polish leads 2-1 in head-to-head. Not before 2.30 pm, Alexander Zverev against Stefanos Tsitsipas. This match has become a classic on clay in 2022: Sasha and Stefanos faced in the semifinals both in Monte Carlo and Madrid, one W each. The second semifinal of the women’s draw (not before 5pm) is Ons Jabeur vs. Daria Kasatkina. The evening program (not before 19.30) opens with Novak Djokovic against Casper Ruud. The n. 1 ATP could score the 1000th career victory. Last match on the main court, the Italian team Bolelli – Fognini will face the Croatian Mektic – Pavic.
R – U – READY!!!! Let’s go!

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