Ebene Magazine – Top 5 Photos, 5/14: Opelka books ticket into Rome semifinals en

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The rain made a mighty return at the Foro Italico on Friday and washed out play for hours. However, a few top names managed to post victories before the storm took over the courts in Rome. 

It was another dreary day in Italy’s beautiful capital, which meant more rain delays. Top names like Novak Djokovic, Ashleigh Barty and Coco Gauff were forced to wait it out. 

What an incredible week of tennis it has been for the American. On Friday he continued his Rome campaign by posting a solid 7-5 7-6 (2) score over Argentine Federico Delbonis. The win marks Opelka’s first career Masters 1000 semifinal showing, and he’s also the first American to reach that round at a clay-court Masters event since John Isner’s deep run in Rome in 2017. 

« It is very clear what happened. Some lines are higher than the rest of the court. So when you touch the line, it is dangerous. That’s it. »

The Spaniard ended a three-match losing streak against Alexander Zverev with a straightforward 6-3, 6-4 win over the German to reach the last four. Last week, Nadal fell to Zverev in Madrid’s quarterfinal; and although he did take a tumble in Friday’s bout, he came out with the win. 

In a rollercoaster of a match, the Czech fought to stay alive and saved three match points to push things to a deciding-set tiebreaker against Jelena Ostapenko. In the tiebreak, she dominated to pick up a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (1) victory at the Foro Italico. It’s the third consecutive semifinal showing in Rome for the world No. 9. 

Up until last week the Croatian had only won four matches the entire season, but she’s put together four consecutive wins in Rome. Martic captured a 7-5, 6-4 win over American Jessica Pegula to notch another notable victory and she will square off with Pliskova in what will be her biggest career semifinal. 

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