Open de Nice Cote d’Azur, France
Men’s Semi-final:  Joao Sousa (POR) vs.  Alexander Zverev (GER)
Zverev has been knocking on the door of his first ATP Tour career singles final since 2014 when he made it to the semi-finals of Hamburg. In 2015 he was also close, losing in the semi-final of Bastad. Earlier this year he had two other semi-final opportunities at the BMW Open and the Open Sud de France. This was not an easy route to the final for Zverev. In his first match he dropped the first set to the young Brit, Kyle Edmund. In the second round he exacted revenge against Marcel Granollers, who defeated him in three sets in Monte Carlo earlier this year. He knocked out the number two seed, Gilles Simon in three sets in the quarterfinals. Today he got off to the best possible start, won the first set and had the early break in the second.
How much pressure was Zverev feeling, thinking about how close he is once again to his first ATP Tour singles final? Immense pressure and it showed in the second. After getting an early break he could not consolidate. Credit the persistence of Sousa, who fought right to the end for this match. It is a testament though of how much confidence Zverev has and how much he has matured. This was not an easy victory and he dug deep into his reserves to win. How much does he have left in the tank for Dominic Thiem? Thiem is playing quality tennis and this will be his fourth final of the season. They met once before and Thiem won in three sets earlier this year on clay. Is Zverev ready to claim his first title? I am rooting for him. I hope that he did not expend too much today in defeating Sousa 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.