Cincinnati Open 2021: Semifinals: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Alexander Zverev: Preview and Prediction

It is a Next-Gen encounter as the second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on the third seed Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of the Cincinnati Open. This is their 3rd meeting in 2021 between the two right-handers after the Acapulco Open finals and the French Open semis. 

Key Insights:

  • Zverev is yet to drop a set at the Cincinnati Open 2021 after 3 matches.
  • Tsitsipas leads the H2H record 6-2 and 3-2 on outdoor hard courts against Zverev.
  • Sascha Zverev (24) lost to Andy Murray in 3 sets in the second round of the Cincinnati Open in 2020.
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas (23) was defeated by Milos Raonic in straight sets in the semifinals at Cincinnati last year.
  • The winner of this match will face Russians, Medvedev or Rublev in the finals.
  • It is the first time in Cincinnati since 2009 that all the top 4 seeds are in the semifinals. The Big 4 Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray made it to the semis at the Western and Southern Open 12 years ago.

How did Tsitsipas overcome Felix Auger Aliassime in the quarterfinal?

Tsitsipas began with a bang against the 12th seed Felix. His potent first-serve and powerful groundstrokes troubled the Canadian. However, Felix, coached by the legendary Toni Nadal made a strong comeback. 

The World number 17 used his big serves to get a lot of free points. He took the second set 7-5 by saving 2 points and forced the clash to a decider. Having already played a decider against Lorenzo Sonego in the pre-quarterfinal, the Greek came out on top again. Aliassime’s serve crumbled under pressure and Tsitsipas clinched the third set 6-1 to march into the semis.

Overall, Stefanos Tsitsipas fired 6 aces and won 81% of his first-serve points. The turning point of the match was the difference in return points won on the second serve. The Greek claimed 67% when compared to Felix’s 36%. It was also his 5th win in a row against the Canadian youngster. 

How did Alexander Zverev rout Casper Ruud in just 59 minutes?

3rd seed Zverev thrashed the 8th seeded Ruud 6-1 6-3 to win his quarterfinal within an hour. The German was thoroughly dominant against the clay-court specialist. Sascha smashed 6 aces and won a whopping 88% of his first-serve points. 

Alexander Zverev converted an impressive 5 out of 7 breakpoints. He won 53% of return points on his first serve than Casper Ruud’s 12%.

Wrapping Up

It is a battle of equals between Next-Gen stars, Tsitsipas and Zverev in the semis of the Cincinnati Open 2021. The Greek’s one-handed backhand will face tough resistance from Sascha’s cross-court forehand. 

Alexander Zverev is in red-hot form at the moment in Cincinnati. The German has all the weapons to unsettle Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 24-year-old also beat him in straight sets in the Acapulco Open finals in March 2021.  

Tsitsipas has survived some grueling 3-setters against the Italian Lorenzo Sonego and the 12th seed Felix Auger Aliassime. The Greek has defended 360 points successfully after reaching the semifinals at Cincinnati in the last season.    

Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Image Credits - Getty Images

Sascha Zverev hit 18 winners in his quarterfinal against Ruud. His big serve helped him dominate the rallies with less than 5 shots. 

It has been a spectacular turnaround for the German star as he had never won a main-draw match at Cincinnati Open in the past 6 editions.

Zverev’s full-blown attacking game will lock horns against Tsitsipas’s patient aggression. The German is yet to play a closely-fought clash in Cincinnati after winning three one-sided matches consecutively. Stefanos Tsitsipas has been better under pressure in Ohio and that would help him outlast his fellow Next-Gen sensation. 

Prediction - Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in three sets against Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of the Cincinnati Open 2021

Featured Image Credits - Roland Garros

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