Chile makes history in Rome with two of its tennis players in the semis for the first time

ROME.- Nicolás Jarry, from Chiliovercame a couple of barriers on Thursday when he staged a comeback to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Italian Open.

With his 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory, the 28-year-old Chilean reached a semi-final for the first time in an ATP Masters 1000 event.

In addition, Jarry will accompany his compatriot Alejandro Tabilo for something unprecedented at the Foro Italico in Rome: it will be the first time that two Chileans will appear in the semifinals since the same Masters 1000 , the tournaments that are just below the Grand Slam hierarchy and whose format was introduced in 1990.

Jarry, current number 24 in the ranking, saved 11 of 13 break points against Tsitsipas to emerge victorious after 2 hours and 38 minutes. He also hit 23 winners with his powerful forehand to take a 4-2 lead against the Greek.

“Stefanos is one of the best players today on clay. It's a great achievement,” Jarry said after taming the recent champion at the Monte Carlo Masters and that he was looking for his third straight semi-final in Rome.

“I tried to enjoy the court as much as possible. The stadium is incredible, the energy, so I am happy to reach the semifinals,†he added.

In the semi-finals on Friday, Jarry will face American Tommy Paul, someone who until now has had no memorable results on clay. The other semifinal will feature Alexander Zverev, the 2017 Rome champion, and Tabilo, toned for having eliminated world number one Novak Djokovic in the third round.

Paul beat Poland's Hubert Hurkacz (9th seed) 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, confirming his good form after dispatching defending champion Daniil Medvedev in straight sets two days earlier.

It was Paul's best performance on clay. At least at the highest level of the circuit.

As a junior, Paul became champion of the Roland Garros junior tournament in 2015.

Women's side in Rome:

In the women's semifinals, No. 1 Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 11 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over reigning US Open champion Coco Gauff.

Swiatek, who is trying to complete the clay double with back-to-back titles in Madrid and Rome, will face number two Aryna Sabalenka.

Sabalenka defeated Danielle Collins 7-5, 6-2, handing the American just her second loss since early March.

Swiatek and Sabalenka will repeat the Madrid final.

“I’m happy to continue playing so consistently because it means I’m doing everything right,†Swiatek said. “I am very proud of myself and my team.†.