Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas shaken, victory over Taylor Fritz
Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the Australian Open quarter-finals after a thrilling five-set streak against American Taylor Fritz on Monday.
The No. 4 seed came from 2-1 sets down to defeat Fritz 4-6 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-4 after a three-and-a-half-hour marathon on Rod Laver Arena.
The duo’s rivalry from their junior days has been renewed on the circuit, and Tsitsipas has now won all three of their professional encounters.
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Tsitsipas battled his mental demons throughout the game after receiving multiple code violation penalties for receiving help from his father.
At the end of the fourth set, chair umpire Damien Dumusois told Tsitsipas to order his own player’s box to stop making such animated gestures.
“Stefanos, please, it’s a great game, but either you tell him [to stop], or I will continue to give them (code violations),” he said.
Earlier, Tsitsipas yelled at his father and narrowly pulled away from an apparent attempt to throw his racquet towards the player’s box on Rod Laver Arena.
Tsitsipas has a reputation for brazenly ignoring warnings for being coached and was able to claim victory despite the series of warnings and violations committed.
It was a grueling, if absorbing, contest at Melbourne Park which apparently took its toll on the 23-year-old who struggled to string words together in the post-match interview.
“I didn’t think of anything,” an exhausted Tsitsipas said with a laugh, as the crowd laughed.
“I focused on my job. The rest, the media, whatever attention I should be getting, I haven’t really paid.
“I didn’t really pay attention to that. Sorry, not “paid”. Sorry, I’m very tired, I can barely talk right now. My mind is still in the game.
“Right now, my focus is on getting a good recovery, an ice bath, a good day off…and getting back on the court.”
Tsitsipas will face Italian Jannik Sinner, who earlier in the day defeated Australian Alex de Minaur in straight sets, in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
“I give [sic] everything on the pitch today,” said Tsitsipas Channel 9 post game.
“I am very proud of myself, of the way I fought. The way I stayed consistent in the very close and crucial moments. I am overwhelmed. Just too much. The stadium was on fire.
Tsitsipas has qualified for the Australian Open semi-finals twice, in 2019 and 2021.
He became the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam final when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the French Open final last year after leading by two sets.
Tsitsipas also has the distinction of beating Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in his two previous semi-final appearances at the Australian Open.
– with Tyson Otto and AFP