The competition in the Australian Open grand slam has entered its decisive phase, and on Tuesday we met the first semi-finalists. In the singles tournament, the first quarter-final fell to Russian Karen Khachavow (ATP 20), who advanced after Sebastian Korda (ATP 31) retired in the third set at 7:6, 6:3, 3:0. The second pass to the best “four” was won by Stefanos Tsitsipas (4th ATP), who was close to disqualification.
Stefanos Tsitsipas wanted to be like Djokovic. It could cost him a lot
In the quarter-finals, the Greek faced one of the revelations of the tournament in Melbourne, the Czech Jiri Lehecka (71st ATP). Tsitsipas managed to break it in the first game of the opponent’s service and gain an advantage. This break turned out to be crucial to the fate of the first set, which the favorite won 6:3. In the next set, both tennis players held passes, although the Greek had to defend five breakpoints in the second game. A series of winning passes led to a tie-break, which was a show of a higher ranked player. Tsitsipas won 7-2 and extended the match lead.
There were many indications that the third set would also end in a tie-break. This did not happen, because the fourth tennis player of the world ranking broke the Czech in the tenth game, winning the match 6:3, 7:6 (7-2), 6:4 and reporting to the semi-finals of the struggle in Australia.
The rivalry with Lehecka cost the Greek a lot of nerves, as evidenced by the situation in the third set. At 30:15 in the eighth game, Tsitsipas did not manage to run to the ball and deflect the rival’s strong hit. The world’s fourth tennis player was very frustrated with this fact and sent the ball into the advertising board. The ball barely missed the ball-handling girl. If she had hit it, the Greek would have been disqualified and would have bid farewell to the Australian Open.
Wide World of Sports, posting a recording of this situation on Twitter, recalled a similar behavior of Novak Djokovic (5th ATP) during the US Open final in 2021. The Serbian did not show the best level in the clash with the future champion, Russian Daniil Medvedev (8th ATP). At one point, frustration took over and the Serbian tennis player almost threw his racket at the ball girl. A moment later, he broke his racket by hitting it on the court, for which he received a warning from the referee.
Tsitsipas will face Khachanov in the semi-finals. If the Greek wins this tournament, he will become the new leader of the ATP rankings.
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