Alexander Zverev, the promising German, has reached the semi-final stage of the Rome Masters. The 20-year-old showed the exit door to fifth seed Milos Raonic on Friday. It could be said that 16th seed Zverev made it past the Canadian easier than expected 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

Zverev won the last three points of the first set tie-break to seal the opener. The two were tied at 1-1 in the following set after the opening two games. That was when German Zverev went on to win five games in a row and close out the match in a dominant way.

Zverev was magnificent when it came to realizing his break point chances.

He broke the serve of Raonic four times in five attempts on Friday. It took an hour and 29 minutes for the clash to come to an end. It was the first ever meeting on the ATP level between the two.

Zverev has continued his good form shown during the 2017 clay-court season. Zverev is coming off a winning run at the ATP Munich and a quarter-final result at last week's Madrid Masters. He hasn't dropped a set in his last three matches at the Italian tournament. The only player to win a set against the talented player this week was South-African Kevin Anderson, in the first-round.

Isner's surprising run continues

American tennis player player John Isner has become an unlikely semi-finalist of this year's Rome Masters.

The world number 24 surprised Croatia's Marin Cilic after outclassing Swiss Stan Wawrinka and clay-court specialist Albert Ramos Vinolas in previous rounds as well. Unseeded Isner prevailed over the sixth seed in a tight match 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 7-6 (7-2).

Isner, who is not known as a great clay-court player and prefers faster surfaces, has already achieved his best result in Rome ever.

Prior to this year's event, his best result at the Italian event was the round-of-16 result achieved in 2015. Moreover, Isner hasn't played much of tennis on clay this season, as the Rome event is his second clay-court tournament of 2017.

Cilic took the first point of the third set tie-break and then fell apart. Isner then won next five points to open up a 5-1 lead and never looked back and earned the win.

Former world number nine Isner fired 21 aces in two hours and 37 minutes of the contest. The head-to-head record still stands on Cilic's side, who has a 6-2 record over Isner. Though it should be noted that Isner was the winner in his last two encounters against the 28-year-old.

Youngster or veteran?

20-year-old Alexander Zverev and John Isner, 32, have set up a semi-final meeting at the Rome Masters. The two will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers and for the second time this season. World number 17 Zverev has a 2-0 win/loss record over Isner. He defeated the American on the hard court at last year's Shanghai Masters 1000 event and at the Miami Masters this past March.

It remains to be seen will Zverev continue his success against Isner or will the experienced Isner find a way to outgun the youngster.