ATP Masters Rome 2024: Semifinals Preview 

by Simon Zeitler
zverev rome

After an exciting day of women’s semifinals and men’s quarters, we are going into the semifinals for the men. And as mentioned, the consistency that we were used to in the ATP, now seems to have switched to the women. The men’s draw now is wide open after the withdrawals of Sinner and Alcaraz, and Novak losing to Alejandro Tabilo.

Who will come out on top? Let’s see the matchups!

Semifinal #1: Zverev vs Tabilo

The favorite by seeding now clearly is Alexander Zverev, currently at odds 1.67 | -150 to win the Italian Open. The World No. 5 has slowly but surely improved his clay-court game after a somewhat slow start to the spring. Playing decent in his home tournament in snowy Munich, he didn’t quite reach his own expectations both in Monte Carlo and Madrid. Especially Madrid used to be a Zverev stronghold in the last years, with his serve benefiting from the altitude, where he won two of his five Masters titles.

But here in Rome he seems to have found back to his dangerous, aggressive brand of clay tennis. Especially his forehand looks a lot more dangerous and his second serve, Achilles heal in previous times, seems to be more solid as ever. Zverev is yet to lose a set in the tournament, with his performance against Taylor Fritz being the most convincing of his matches so far. His chance for a sixth Masters title seems as big as ever.

Campo Centrale in Rome

But the man he is facing comes in on the best week of his tennis career so far. Alejandro Tabilo has not only stunned World No.1 Novak Djokovic in a breathtaking match, but he also went on to beat Karen Khachanov in two tiebreaks and is into his first Masters semifinal. This is quite a development for a player, who has won a Challenger title in Aix-en-Provence just a couple of weeks ago. Sitting at a career high of No.32 already, the Chilenean is looking to improve his ranking further going into the second Slam of the year.

The left-handed player possesses a powerful serve, a banger of a forehand and a more than solid net-game. At this level, Tabilo’s game can surely be dangerous to any player, including Sascha Zverev. But how will the 26-year-old handle the pressure of his first semifinal at this level? So far, it did not seem like nerves or expectations matter to him, but Zverev surely holds the upper hand in experience in their matchup.

They did not meet on tour yet, so their head-to-head cannot help our assessment. But all stats will give the advantage to Zverev as of now, who also leads in the eyes of sports bettors. Our expectation here is that he will come through in a tight, well-fought match with decent chances for Tabilo, if he manages to be the aggressor in that match.

Semifinal #2: Paul vs Jarry

Tommy Paul vs Hurkacz in the QF

Part of why the chances of Zverev seem as good for this tournament is also the development of the lower part of the draw. Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Hubert Hurkacz and Holger Rune have all lost in earlier rounds, so that the semifinal in this bracket is between Tommy Paul and Nicolas Jarry. 

The American No. 2 isn’t playing on his favorite surface when on clay, that is for sure. But, also according to his own social media, he seems to have found peace with the clay-courts in Rome and plays his maybe best tennis of the year so far. He beat Daniil Medvedev and Hubert Hurkacz back-to-back, looking very composed and moving well on clay for an American player.

Especially in his quarterfinal against Hurkacz, it seemed that he always had an answer and was able to limit his unforced errors to an absolute minimum.

His tennis sometimes reminds me of Juan-Carlos Ferrero or David Ferrer, hitting hard but less spectacular than others and simply not going away. With this game style, it only makes sense that he is a decent clay-court player in my opinion.

And the hot and dry conditions in Rome currently will help a player like Paul, who prefers a higher and aggressive bounce.

First all-Chilenean final?

His opponent is another surprise of this week and another Chilenean – Nicolas Jarry. Chile has a great tradition of tennis, with players like Nicolas Massú, Fernando Gonzalez and of course Marcelo Rios. With Jarry, Tabilo and Cristian Garin, they now have another set of players, who can inflict some damage, especially on a clay-court. The 28-year-old Jarry is the country’s No. 1 currently, and has been steadily improving, winning two 250 titles in 2023. As for his compatriot, this is his first Masters semifinal, and they could set up the first all-Chilenean final here.

Standing at 2,01m tall, Jarry’s first weapon naturally is his serve. But he moves exceptionally well for a player his size and can dominate the game off both wings at the baseline. Chip in his smart tactics and touch at the net, you have another pretty complete and dangerous player in this tournament. Him and Tommy Paul have met at the 2023 Roland Garros, where Jarry won in four sets 3:6 6:1 6:4 7:5. Given his preference for clay, this is most likely the most open semifinal matchup in Rome.

The bettors have the same opinion, with the odds at the betting sites indicating a toss-up between those two. Personally, I like Jarry’s chances here for a first Masters final – where he could meet Sascha Zverev, who looks like the favorite for the first semi.

Betsafe Tennis
Parimatch Tennis Betting UK

Do you think that we could see this matchup and what are your thoughts on those matches?

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