Tsitsipas withstands heat to reach final in Rome

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ROME — Stefanos Tsitsipas reached his first Italian Open final by rallying past Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday.

Tsitsipas has been pushed to three sets in three of his four matches this week, having also overcome local favorite Jannik Sinner in straight sets in the quarterfinals. Tsitsipas has played all his matches in the midday heat.

“The heat hasn’t been easy, but that’s what I prefer,” he said.

He will face Novak Djokovic or Casper Ruud in the final.

Tsitsipas defended his title at the Monte Carlo Masters last month and is aiming for another big clay-court title before the French Open.

The Italian Open has been played at the picturesque Foro Italico, which includes a court lined by neoclassical statues, since 1935.

“It’s one of the tournaments that has the most history in our sport,” Tsitsipas said. “You can see walking around the site, one of the most beautiful stadiums — the Pietrangeli. So there’s a lot of history playing in these courts, and you feel very proud that you’ve made your way here and are able to participate in such a historically rich event.”

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