Italian Open: Sabalenka beats Anisimova for first time, Zverev thrashed Garin to reach the semis

Sabalenka defeated American Anisimova for the first time in five tries. Garin was clueless to Zverev’s ball-striking.

Alexander Zverev in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@ATPCup

Aryna Sabalenka the no.3 seed ended a three-year, four-match losing record against Amanda Anisimova at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, advancing 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to the quarterfinals. Sabalenka has already lost to Anisimova on the Grand Slam stage twice in 2019, at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, as well as twice more this year on clay, at Charleston and Madrid. Anisimova was attempting to reach her second semifinal at the WTA 1000 level or above. Sabalenka, a three-time WTA 1000 winner, responded to the occasion, booking her second semi final position of 2022 and her first since the US Open last year.


The match began similarly to their past clashes. Anisimova diverted Sabalenka’s power with ease, and she kept the pace even after losing her break lead. In the opening set, Sabalenka made five double faults, including two at breakpoint. It was Anisimova who would be plagued by double faults for the rest of the match, incurring two of her own in the second set while facing two break points. Sabalenka, on the other hand, was remarkably disciplined in finding her margins. She had 14 unforced mistakes in the first set, but just four in the second and seven in the third. 

Sabalenka earned the first of two breaks in the decider with a powerful forehand winner. Though she lost one of them due to a pair of double faults, it was only a hiccup, as she finished the match with her first ace of the day. Sabalenka defeated American Anisimova for the first time in five tries, and she now anticipates the outcome of Swiatek’s last-eight match facing Bianca Andreescu to figure out who she will encounter in the semis.

Zverev storms past Garin makes it to the semifinals

Alexander Zverev resumed his hunt for his first championship of the season on Friday, defeating Cristian Garin 7-5, 6-2 in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia semi-finals for the third time. The World No. 3 hammered his flat groundstrokes through the court in a dominant display on Grand Stand Arena, striking 24 winners and breaking the Chilean four times to advance after one hour and 51 minutes. By reaching the semi-finals in Rome, Zverev has advanced to the last four in each of the three clay-court ATP Masters 1000 events he has competed in this season. In April, the 25-year-old fell to Tsitsipas in the Monte Carlo semi-finals.

Read more: Miami Open 2022: Stefanos Tsitsipas sees off a spirited JJ Wolf

Garin clueless to Zverev’s ball-striking

Garin competed in his third Masters 1000 quarter-final, having previously reached this level in Paris in 2019 and Madrid in 2021. The five-time tour-level victor advanced to the quarterfinals after upsetting Francesco Passaro, Emil Ruusuvuori, and Marin Cilic, but was unable to catch pace with Zverev’s ball-striking and energy as the match unfolded.

World number three Zverev will face the winner of Friday’s match between Jannick Sinner, who is flying the flag for Italy, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Sportslumo Desk

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