Tommy Paul outlasted seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz 7-5, 3-6,6-3 on Thursday, winning a quarter-final thriller to advance at the Rome Masters.

The American will play the first Masters 1000 semi of his career on clay against the winner from Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nicolas Jarry.

The two-and-three-quarter-hour defeat of Hurkacz was riddled with 13 breaks of serve, with each man committing more than 40 unforced errors in what turned into a thriller at the Foro Italico..

The winner had no obvious reason for the patchy quality of the contest but was happy to escape with victory against last month’s Estoril champion.

“I don’t think it had anything to do with the heat,” the American said. “We play in a lot of hot places and today wasn’t too, too hot.

“I’m not really sure, to be honest, why there were so many breaks – it was an absolute roller coaster of a match, especially the third set.”

The 14th seed added: “It was weird. I wasn’t serving great today.

“I was on his serve pretty good. I don’t think he was popping it like he normally does – only eight aces –  for whatever reason.”

 Paul ended with 29 winners while Hurkacz had 22.

“I started well but it got away from me in the second and and start of the third,” Paul said. “I had to stick around in the match.

“I found the energy to get it going again. I was hitting my forehand bigger and with more intensity because Hubi can really crush the ball.”