Stephen Tsitsipas ripped at Australian Open with the possibility of reaching a double goal in his career: conquering his first Grand Slam and climbing to the top of the world ranking for the first time. The Greek, number four in the world, is advancing at a brisk pace towards this dual objective, from which he is separated by only two victories. He’s the one with a solid 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) and 6-4 over the Czech Jiri Leheckaone of the great revelations of the tournament, he made it to the semifinals of the “big” ocean for the fourth time and for the third consecutive year.
Third favorite -e from the falls of Rafael Nadal Y Casper Ruudtop candidate for the title, at least on paper – Tsitsipas was clearly superior to his rival in a match which, looking at the statistics, may seem more balanced than it was.
The numbers say that the Greek hit nine aces (two more than his opponent), won 80 percent of the points played with his first serve (against Lehecka’s 79 percent), added 36 winners and 28 unforced errors (the Czech had 38 and 32, respectively) and made two breaks, never giving up his serve.
in court, the Greek handled the match to his liking. He was very solid with his tennis, but above all he was very concentrated on neutralizing Lehecka’s attempts to take the initiative, which grew as the matches progressed, but he never managed to worry his opponent.
The best of the Czech, 21 years old and 71st in the standings, was seen at the start of the second set, when with a combination of precise shots and a few lobs he demanded the maximum from Tsitsipas. In the fourth game he had five break points, but the Athenian served with ease when he was on the ropes and avoided the break. And after taking that partial at the tie break, he sealed the victory in the third, with authority.
“It was a very difficult match in three sets, one of the most difficult I’ve had so far in the competition. This time I felt different from any other match this week, but the most important thing is that I finally found a solution. ” commented the Greek.
He added: “I had to deal with groundstrokes coming from the racket across the court that were much heavier, much deeper. So it was a task where I really had to put my heart into it and give it my all.” from mine”.
The Greek, finalist in 2021 a Roland Garroshas the opportunity to take over the number one, today in the hands of Carlos Alcaraz, loss of the match due to injury. To do that he has to shout champion in Melbourne. And he only needs two more victories.
Tsitsipas – undefeated in 2023 (he won all four matches played in the United Cup) – will play the semifinals in Australia for the fourth time and for the third consecutive season, where he could never reach the decisive phase. In 2019 he moved to Nadal. In 2021, after hitting the quarterfinals against the Spaniard, he lost in three sets with Daniel Medvedev. And also last year he was eliminated by the Russian.
In this 2023 he will also face a player from that country, Karen Khachanovawhich benefited from the abandonment of the American Sebastian Rope and finished in the top four.
The American, 22 and 31st in the standings, withdrew after missing the first three games of the third set with a right wrist injury. “Before it didn’t hurt, it was during the match. At the beginning of the second set, I hit back badly and it started to hurt. There came a time when I could hardly hold my racket when I hit a few shots,” Korda explained.
Khachanov, ranked 20 in the ATP, won 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 and 3-0 and advanced to the semifinals for a second consecutive Grand Slam. Last year, the Muscovite reached that round in New York, where he was knocked out by Ruud.
“The US Open 2022 It has given me an extra boost of confidence and grit, thus showing who I am and what I am capable of. That result pushed me to where I am now,” Khachanov commented.
Follow the return of favorites
The women’s team fired another of their big favourites. This time it was the American Jessica Pegulaseeded third, who couldn’t with Victoria Azarenka and said goodbye in the quarterfinals.
The Belarusian, former world number one and champion in Melbourne in 2012 and 2013, was pure power, winning 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 37 minutes and will play the semi-final for the first time in ten years.
“I feel like I’ve been playing tennis at a high level since the beginning of the year,” said Azarenka, ranked 24th in the world. He added: “I don’t want to think about a result for the semi-final. I want to focus on something that works for me, stay focused, stay calm, be at peace. That has become a key part for me, to be at peace.”
His next rival will be the Kazakh Elena Rybakina25th in the standings, who beat the Latvian 6-2, 6-4 Elena Ostapenko17th in the standings.
Even the ninth day of competition left an Argentine joy. How come Gustavo Fernandez he debuted with a solid win in the wheelchair box. Cordovan, second favorite and champion of the contest in 2017 and 2019, defeated the Dutch 6-3 and 6-2 Ruben Spaargaren. In the quarterfinals he will face the Spaniards Martin DeLaPuente.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.