More than a walk. The tallest. Beating Russian Khachanov in four sets (7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 in 3:21), 24-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas opened the door to the Australian Open final. On Sunday, the Greek has a double bout with history for the first Grand Slam title synonymous with the No. 1 spot in the world.
“I like the number,” he smiles at the Rod Laver Arena, answering questions from former incumbent American Jim Courier, a post-match interviewer. This is one thing, there is only you. I worked hard to be in this situation, it’s even more than the finale, it’s a childhood dream to get this opportunity. I am very happy that I made it to the final, I am happy to play at such a level, and I am happy that, together with Maria Sakkari, Greece was on the tennis map. So, let’s begin! »
In 2006, little Stefanos watched as the Cypriot Markos Baghdatis held Sunday mass (lost) against Federer. “I thought maybe one day I’ll be there too,” he slips. From what he’s shown since the start of the two-week tournament, the ATP No. 4 hasn’t usurped his spot. Even if it wasn’t perfect on Friday against a player he’s beaten five times out of five and now has twenty-three consecutive losses to top 10 players.
The resident of the academy, Muratoglu, who was brought up by his father Apostolos, had to put the case in three sets. The Greek filed for a 5-4 victory in the third set and then scored two match points in a tie-break. Without drawing a conclusion. The opening break in the fourth set allowed him to more calmly dispose of the end of the match.
“I thought about everything I needed to do to be in such a good position, and I held on,” he sums up. To try and win his first Major after nine ATP tournaments, including the 2019 Masters, Tsitsipas won’t be completely relegated to the unknown. In 2021, he reached the Roland Garros final and swept two sets to nothing before losing to Novak Djokovic, unlike the amazing American Tommy Paul in the second semi-final. It remains to be seen if Australian actress Matgo Robbie will support him in the stands. After a quarter against Leheka, Tsitsipas made a big call to the Hollywood star currently playing at Babylon…