Tsitsipas routs Rublev at Roland-Garros to avenge Hamburg loss

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sprints past Andrey Rublev in straight sets during quarter-final action on Wednesday afternoon in Paris. Tsitsipas awaits either Novak Djokovic or Pablo Carreno Busta in the semis.
  • French Open quarter-finals

  • Tsitsipas d. Rublev 7-5, 6-2, 6-3

  • Key match stats: Tsitsipas won 16 of the last 21 games after being down by a break in the first set.
  • You will also learn: The Greek recorded some amazing service statistics, especially in the third set.
  • Why read this story: Tsitsipas played his best match of the fortnight — which is saying a lot since he hasn’t lost a set since the first round.

Stefanos Tsitsipas lost to Andrey Rublev 10 days earlier in the Hamburg final. But the Greek is a whole different beast on the big stage.

That is not to say Hamburg is unimportant, but it certainly is not a Grand Slam or a year-end championship. Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals of the 2019 Australian Open and capped off that season with a Nitto ATP Finals triumph, is back in the last four of major after avenging his recent setback against Rublev. The world No 6 needed only one hour and 55 minutes to defeat the Russian in straight sets.

For a brief moment it looked like Rublev would once again have the upper hand. The 13th seed surged to a 5-3 lead in the first set and served for it at 5-4, having previously been untroubled on serve, Rublev suddenly cracked in the 10th game with four unforced errors. That suddenly gave Tsitsipas the momentum he needed, and he used it to take the final four games of the opener.

Tsitsipas soars after slow start

In fact, there would not be another momentum shift in the entire match. It was only full steam ahead for Tsitsipas following his late steal of the opening set. The 22-year-old did not face another break point. Even better than that, he dropped only five service points in the second set and a mere three in the third. Three service breaks of his own in the final two sets were more than enough for him to get the job done with ease.

“(It) is part of the sport,” Rublev said of failing to close out the first set. “Happened the other days with me (against Tsitsipas in the Hamburg final and Sam Querrey in the French Open first round)  that everyone was serving for the set and somehow I was coming back. Today (it) happened with Stefanos that I was serving  for the set and he came back. This is part of our sport.

“Then after the first set, he started to play really, really well. I don’t know; he was playing really good today I think. In my case, I was playing not bad; some little mistakes. After the first set, he started to play really good.”

Tstisipas more than doubled his unforced error count (17) with winners (35). He struck seven aces compared to just two double-faults and won 80 percent of his first-serve points. He also won 10 of 13 second-serve points over the last two sets.

Either Novak Djokovic or Pablo Carreno Busta will be Tsitsipas’ semifinal opponent on Friday.

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