Classy Zverev overcomes Isner to reach first Masters final
A display of the utmost composure from Alexander Zverev saw him defeat John Isner and book a place in the Rome final.
Alexander Zverev is one match away from his first ATP Masters 1000 title after overcoming John Isner 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia semi-finals.
One of the rising stars on the circuit, 20-year-old Zverev has built upon a fine start to the season in Rome; the German picked up titles in Montpellier and Munich and reached the quarter-finals in Miami and Madrid.
The world number 17 showed incredible composure and an ability to pick his shots at the right moment, completing his third win over Isner - all of which have come at this level - to set up a final against the winner of Dominic Thiem's meeting with Novak Djokovic.
Isner served up a tournament-high 93 aces en route to the semi-finals but it was Zverev who converted more points off his first serve in the opening set - the German only missing out on one point from a possible 16.
Zverev backed that up with a series of strong returns, breaking in game five with his slick groundstrokes proving troublesome for Isner.
Neither player could engineer a break point in the second set, with Isner racing 5-0 up in the tie-break and forcing a decider despite seeing two of his three set points get away from him.
Isner became the first player to tally 100 aces in the competition since records began in 1991 but he was unable to take advantage of a trio of break points to cancel out an early drop of set in the third.
It was a show of tremendous character from Zverev and he let out a huge shout after grinding out the hold, and there was no looking back from there.