Novak Djokovic staged a complete turnaround in a two-day Rome Masters quarter-final, overcoming Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 on Saturday to reach a 12th final at the event.
The top seed and five-time champion here trailed a set and a break when the contest was interrupted by rain Friday evening.
When the pari returned on Saturday, Monte Caro champion Tsitsipas looked like continuing his domination.
But Djokovic showed his pedigree with a grinding victory, with the outcome uncertain until the final shot, a Tsiispas return wide on second match point after more than three hours of play.
“I felt like we played two matches, yesterday he was the better player, and he started better today,” Djokovic said.
“But I was able to hold serve at important moments and had the support of a crowd, it was great to play in front of people.
“I had a bit of luck, but I also had mental strength and played the right shot at the right time.
“One shot decided the winner today – I’m just glad I was on the right side.”
Djokovic trailed in both of the last two sets but overhauled his Greek opponent with 42 winners and 38 unforced errors; the Serb converted six of 23 break chances.
Djokovic trailed by a break early in the third set but got back level for 4-all only to drop serve again, 4-5. But another break-back put the top seed into winning position as he served it out in the ensuing game.
“I was really glad to overcome the challenges, Djokovic said prior to resting for his evening semi-final today against either Lorenzo Sonego or seventh seed Andrey Rublev.
“This was certainly my toughest match of the year. I haven’ played a lot this season so I’m not too exhausted. Let’s see how I feel on court tonight.”
“I was really glad to overcome the challenges, Djokovic said prior to resting for his evening semi-final today against Italian Lorenzo Sonego, who beat seventh seed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Main photo:- Novak Djokovic celebrates comeback win over Stefanos Tsitsipas by ATPTour.com