Nicolas Jarry makes Chilean tennis history as third player to reach Masters 1000 Final

Sunday, 19 May 2024 at 03:30
Nicolás Jarry has reached the final of the Rome Open, becoming one of the few Chilean tennis players to achieve this milestone, joining Fernando Gonzalez and Marcelo Rios. Jarry will face 2017 champion Alexander Zverev in the final, capping off a stellar few week of tennis.
Jarry's success at Foro Italico has made history for Chile, as the country hasn't seen a player in a Masters 1000 final since Fernando González at the 2007 Rome Open, where he finished as the runner-up to an almost unbeatable Rafael Nadal on clay.

Unforgettable week for Chileans

Jarry arrived in Rome after three consecutive defeats on clay courts. However, he quietly progressed through the tournament, defeating local players Matteo Arnaldi and Stefano Napolitano before facing qualifier Alexandre Müller.
In the quarterfinals, he faced a tough challenge against 6th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the recent champion of his third Monte-Carlo Masters. Jarry came from a set down to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. In his first Masters 1000 semi-final, he defeated Tommy Paul 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 and now will face Alexander Zverev for the title.
The German defeated fellow Chilean Alejandro Tabilo in the semi-finals. The left-hander had eliminated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Russian Karen Khachanov (No. 18), among others, to set up a clash with Zverev for his first final. Tabilo dominated the first set, but the German showcased his experience and hierarchy to make a strong comeback and advance with a 1-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory.
Nicolas Jarry waiting for a ball to serve
Jarry secured his highest-ever ranking as World No. 17. If he wins the title, he will rise to No. 15.
Despite the defeat, Chile had never had two representatives in the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 tournament.
“Yeah, to have two players in the Masters 1000 semis a big deal for us. Hopefully everybody can enjoy this moment. I think more moments will come,” Jarry said about Tabilo's run at Rome.

Jarry writes his name among Chile's tennis greats

The "Tower from Santiago" will be only the third Chilean player to compete in a Masters 1000 final, following in the footsteps of Fernando González and former World No. 1 Marcelo Ríos, who remains the only Chilean to have lifted a trophy in this category.
Fernando González, a former World No. 5, won 11 singles titles on the ATP Tour and was the runner-up at the 2007 Australian Open, where he lost to Roger Federer in straight sets. González also secured bronze in singles and gold in doubles at the 2004 Athens Olympics, in addition to a silver medal in singles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"Stone Hand" reached two Masters 1000 finals. First, on the hard courts of the 2006 Madrid Open, where he defeated the likes of Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych but fell convincingly to Federer 7-5, 6-1, 6-0.
A year later, in Rome, he defeated players such as compatriot Nicolás Massú, Juan Ignacio Chela, and Filippo Volandri to reach the final, but once again fell short, this time to Nadal 6-2, 6-2.
Marcelo Ríos, a former World No. 1, boasts a better record, having played in seven Masters 1000 finals and winning five titles between 1997 and 1999. The talented ex-player reached the final of the Italian Open twice: losing in 1997 to Alex Corretja, but winning in 1998 after a walkover from Albert Costa.
On clay, Ríos was a champion at the Monte-Carlo Masters (1997), Italian Open (1998), and German Open (1999). He is also one of the few players in history to achieve the Sunshine Double, winning Indian Wells and Miami Open consecutively in 1998, victories that propelled him to World No. 1.
Jarry seeks historic win
At 28, Jarry is at the peak of his career after a remarkable 2023 that saw him rise from outside the top-150 to finish the year as World No. 19. Despite some inconsistencies at the beginning of 2024, Jarry has remained in the top-30 since first entering it in August last year.
“I think it’s pretty unreal for Chile. We are a very little country that has had very good success in tennis. It’s mainly I think, yeah, a bit of luck,” he said. “I think generation through generation, since we’ve been having good players, tennis is interesting for Chile – outside of football. Football is still the biggest.
This will be the 7th encounter between Zverev and Jarry. 
On Sunday, he will face World No. 5 Alexander Zverev in pursuit of history. Zverev leads their head-to-head 4-2, although they are tied 2-2 on clay. They previously met in a final at the 2019 Geneva Open, where Jarry squandered a match point, and Zverev ultimately claimed the title.
If Jarry wins on Sunday, he could become the first non-European or American Masters 1000 champion since Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro at the 2018 Indian Wells.

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