Tsitsipas makes history again at Australian Open

Tsitsipas makes history again at Australian Open

Twenty year old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece defeated Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets to advance to the semifinals at the Australian Open, becoming the youngest player to do so since 2003.

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The Spaniard broke Tsitsipas’ serve in the opening game of the match, and won a total of nine points in a row. He would then go up 4-2, before the young Greek would come back to win five of the next six games and take the first set 7-5.

In the second set, Bautista Agut got an early break to go up 2-1. This time, the Spaniard was able to maintain the lead, as he took the set 6-4. The Spaniard then went up 4-2 in the third set, with the Greek looking out of it. However, Tsitsipas would fight back and win four consecutive games to take the set 6-4.

Neither player faced a break point in the fourth set until Bautista Agut faced one with Tsitsipas leading 6-5, meaning he was also facing match point. The Spaniard would save it and ultimately hold serve, forcing a tiebreak. The Greek would dominate the tiebreak despite dropping two points on serve, taking it 7-2 to win the match 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6(2).

Tsitsipas has now become not only the first Greek player to ever make it to a Grand Slam semifinal in singles, but also the youngest player from any country to do so since Novak Djokovic at the 2007 US Open. He is also the youngest player to make the semifinals at the Australian Open since Andy Roddick in 2003.

It also must be noted that Bautista Agut came into this quarterfinal match with a 9-0 record in 2019, with wins over the likes of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, Tomas Berdych, and Karen Khachanov.

The Greek will now play his semifinal match on Thursday night in Melbourne, against either the unseeded American Frances Tiafoe, or against world number two and 17-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. Tsitsipas leads the head-to-head 2-0 against Tiafoe in official matches(not including a win at the Hopman Cup two weeks ago), but trails 0-2 against Nadal.

 

by Andrew Stamas

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