Brilliant Tsitsipas crushes Sinner to reach Australian Open semi-finals
The Greek played almost flawless tennis to reach the last four for the third time in his career
It was billed as a blockbuster clash between two of the biggest talents on the men’s Tour but Stefanos Tsitsipas turned it into a procession as he played almost flawless tennis, beating Italian No 11 seed Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the second time.
Pushed to five sets by Taylor Fritz in the previous round, fourth seed Tsitsipas produced a stunning performance, never allowing Sinner the chance to even get a foothold in the match. The Greek is now 5-0 in Grand Slam quarter-finals and he’ll take on either second seed Daniil Medvedev or Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada for a place in the final.
“I feel like I’m in the zone,” Tsitsipas said. “I have no plans of getting out of it. It’s part of my game. So far it has been the most consistent and the best match I’ve had on the tournament.”
Tsitsipas: I’m very happy how I used my tactics
“I knew I was going on court facing a very good player” Tsitsipas said on court. “I tried to focus on my best shots, it kind of paid off more than I thought. I’m very happy with the way I served, the way I tried to come in and use my tactics. Having the crowd support is truly unbelievable.”
Tsitsipas made a fast start, jumping all over Sinner, thanks in part to some outstanding serving. Though he hit only four aces, he won 79 percent of points on first serve and an excellent 60 percent on second serve. Everything worked well, though, and Tsitsipas won all four of his break points and hit 30 winners to the 18 of Sinner.
A 15-minute break while the roof was closed for rain when Tsitsipas led by a set and a break didn’t put him off his stride, either, and the No 4 seed romped through to his third semi-final in Melbourne, leaving him again two wins short of his first Grand Slam title.
A nasty elbow injury in the second half of last year hampered Tsitsipas and when he had surgery in November, his chances of even playing in Australia looked slim. But he has improved with every match in this year’s Australian Open and found time to thank his doctor for helping him get to this point.
“I’m petty sure my doctor is watching now, he’s been sending me a text after every single game,” he said. “We both didn’t expect for me to participate playing in the Australian Open, he certainly told me he didn’t see me playing in Australia. I’m very lucky I have Frank.”
Former world No 1 Mats Wilander lavished praise on Tsitsipas.
“I think it’s the best Stefanos has played so far in this tournament,” Wilander told Eurosport. “His tactics today were very clear from the beginning and his ball striking was perfect. Even though he faced a tricky situation when the roof was closed, he showed a lot of experience. I thought it was going to be a really close match – in fact, I was thinking Sinner had a really good chance and he had no chance in my eyes.
“I think Stefanos’ game-plan in every match is very similar, he’s trying to take the ball as early as possible, take it on the rise, come forwards. He was so aggressive, he took over 60 percent of chance on the rise, which is just unbelievable. “Tsitsipas played an amazing match to me, I was completely surprised.”
Sinner: “He played incredible today”
Sinner said there was little he could have done to change anything, so well was Tsitsipas playing.
“I think he played better than me today,” he said. “He served better. He moved the ball better than me. He was moving better than me. It’s tough to play against him when especially he plays like this. I couldn’t generate the power what I would have wanted.
“I was trying to move him, but I was maybe a little bit too far back because he played incredible today. So I think that’s it.”