Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

LATEST

Tsitsipas uses Laver as inspiration to make Australian Open quarters

Stefanos Tsitsipas took inspiration from the watching Rod Laver to stay calm in the face of an onslaught Sunday and battle into a third consecutive Australian Open quarterfinal.

The Greek third seed extended his win streak this year to eight matches with a 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 triumph over Italian 15th seed Jannik Sinner on Rod Laver Arena as the clock ticked over four hours.

Victory set up a clash against surprise package Jiri Lehecka for a place in the semis after the 21-year-old stunned sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/3).

That upset put the Czech into the last eight at a Grand Slam for the first time after being knocked out in the first round at all four majors last year.

“I just stayed really calm, just like Mr Rod Laver used to do in his day,” said Tsitsipas as the crowd roared their approval and Australian legend Laver saluted the Greek player from the stands.

“It was a long match, I felt like I spent an entire century on this court playing tennis.

“What a great night. That was superb, ‘a ripper’ as they say here. I’m really excited to be sharing moments like this on the court, especially in Australia.

“I’m trying to do my best out here, it’s not easy. I had an unbelievable opponent on the other side of the court today,” added Tsitsipas, the highest remaining men’s seed.

Tsitsipas, who lost in the 2022 semifinals to eventual runner-up Daniil Medvedev, is playing for a double prize — not only a maiden major title but also the number one ranking.

That will be his if he lifts the trophy in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic, who he cannot meet before the final, can also become the world’s top-ranked player should he be crowned for a 10th time in Melbourne.

Tsitsipas led Sinner 4-1 in their head-to-heads leading into the match, including victory in the Melbourne quarterfinals last year, but it proved to be a tough test for the Greek.

He stated his intent by breaking Sinner in the first game thanks to a baseline error from the Italian.

Tsitsipas then saved four break points in the next game to keep the advantage and went on to seal the first set.

It went with serve in the second until the Greek pounced for 5-4 with a sizzling cross-court forehand then served it out in 46 minutes to take control.

But Sinner came storming back, with Tsitsipas saving six break points before finally succumbing to fall 3-1 behind and lose the set.

Sinner was fired up and constantly threatening, converting his second break point when Tsitsipas sent a forehand wide to move 2-1 clear in the fourth set.

The Greek star had no answers and it went to a fifth set.

Sinner saved three break points in the fourth game, but when Tsitsipas worked three more on his opponent’s next service game, he made no mistake.

The third seed moved 4-2 clear and ultimately got over the line for the win.

Lehecka now stands in his way after the Czech defeated a top-10 player for the first time.

“Honestly, it feels amazing,” said Lehecka, who has climbed 70 places in the rankings over the past year to 71.

“After losing in the first round last year, if someone had told me before the tournament that I would be playing like this, I wouldn’t have believed them.”

Before his exploits at Melbourne Park, Lehecka’s biggest splash came last February in Rotterdam, where he advanced to the semi-finals — before being beaten by Tsitsipas.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

SPORTS

Manny Pacquiao knows his time is up. This was the keen observation made by a longtime member of his training team who spent dinner...

ESPORTS

The dynamic duo of Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario is back with a bang after leading Blacklist International to a...

SPORTS

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines will have a full calendar of sports events for Season 85 starting 1 October. UAAP President Fr....

ESPORTS

ECHO has revealed its roster for the upcoming M4 Mobile Legends World Championship to be held 1-15 January 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The seven...

SPORTS

It’s going to be business as usual as the Philippine Basketball Association will not stop its on-court activities when it gives way for the...

SPORTS

It doesn’t look as if newly-crowned Melvin Jerusalem will get the luxury of defending his minimumweight crown against a handpicked rival after the World...

SPORTS

Mitchell, meanwhile, is a six-foot shooting guard frowm Hartford University.

SPORTS

Legendary boxing referee Carlos ‘Sonny’ Padilla was recently inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Famous for serving as the third man in...

Copyright © DAILY TRIBUNE