Melbourne, Jan 26 (IANS) Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced to the 2022 Australian Open semi-final with a dominating win over Italy’s Jannik Sinner in quarter-finals, here on Wednesday.
After surviving an up-and-down five-setter against American No 1 Taylor Fritz, the World No 4 maintained an elite level throughout the two-hour, five-minute contest, beating Sinner 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 at Rod Laver Arena.
Tsitsipas, who won all four of his break points, did his damage early in each set. On serve, he was pushed as far as deuce just once and never faced a breakpoint.
“Jannik is a very good player. So I tried to focus on my best shots and it paid off more than I thought,” said Tsitsipas in his on-court interview.
“I am very, very happy with the way I served today and the way I came in and used my tactics in today’s match structure. Having the crowd support is truly unbelievable,” he added.
The Greek dazed the Italian with a blazing start, looking explosive in his lateral movement and off his favoured forehand wing. After holding from 0/30 in the opening game, he broke from 40/15 on Sinner’s serve as he built an immediate 3-0 cushion.
Sinner won 11 straight points on serve from there, but Tsitsipas protected his own delivery to claim an efficient opening set in 36 minutes.
Tsitsipas’ aggressive court positioning was rewarded again with an early break in set two. Keeping tight to the baseline, he won rallies of 14 and 16 balls and hit the line with a down-the-line backhand winner to take complete command.
Heavy rain gave Sinner a welcome respite, forcing a 20-minute delay as the roof was closed and court dried. But like in the opening set, both men continued to hold serve comfortably as Tsitsipas eased to a two-set lead.
A stunning backhand pass set up another early break as set three followed the established scoring pattern. After lasering that down-the-line winner off a Sinner swinging volley, Tsitsipas made it three-for-three on break points when an unforced error from the 11th seed ended an eight-ball rally.
After Tsitsipas fought through deuce for the only time in the match to hold for 3-1, another break extinguished any hope of a Sinner comeback.
Tsitsipas will now await the winner of the match between Daniil Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime, scheduled later in the day.