Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Jannick Sinner and is in the quarterfinals

Mark Philippoussis, two-time Grand Slam finalist and former Top 10 star, is often a feature of the Tsitsipas support case when the Greek plays a major.

Darren Cahill, a former US Open semi-finalist who has coached Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt and Simona Halep to the top of the world, has recently worked with Sinner.

Jannik Sinner failed against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Jannik Sinner failed against Stefanos Tsitsipas.Credit:AP

And watching from the front row was Rod Laver, who stayed until the end of the thrilling contest and received a standing ovation after being recognized on court by Tsitsipas.

The Greek, who was a semi-finalist in Melbourne for the last two years, remains unbeaten this year, extending his winning streak dating back to November’s ATP Tour Finals to 10.

The 24-year-old plays Czech Republic’s Jiri Lehecka for a spot in his fourth Australian Open semi-final of six appearances on Tuesday.


The world No. 4 has always enjoyed the conditions at Melbourne Park and upped his game against a rising star of the sport in Sinner when it mattered.

The flair of his shooting build and colorful attire make Tsitsipas an eye-catching player. But that doesn’t belie the key ingredient in his triumph over Sinner, which was his ability to keep his nerve at critical moments in the first two sets and the deciding set.

Sinner had come from a two-set deficit in his third-round duel against Marton Fucsovics, making a move early in the decider as he tried to unsettle the superb Tsitsipas.

At his first break point in the 2-1 lead, he failed due to Tsitsipas’ extraordinary reflexes on the net. The Greek mastered the situation in the second with a blazing backhand.

It took the most skillful touches from Sinner, who eventually broke with a forehand drop shot to take a 3-1 lead. As his confidence grew, he was clearly the better player in the third set.

When the Italian, who has reached the quarters at all four Majors, broke Tsitsipas’ serve early in the fourth set, the forehead on the face of Greece’s father Apostolos continued to deepen.

He had cause for concern when his son’s grip on the quarter-finals spot faltered as it became increasingly clear that his 21-year-old rival was making a strong showing in the game.

This came despite squandering dozens of break point chances in the opening four sets, with Sinner converting just four of the 26 chances that presented themselves throughout the game.

In contrast, Tsitsipas threw himself in the opening two sets whenever a chance arose, converting all four break points.

He was wasteful early in the deciding set but won the promotion when Sinner surpassed a forehand on the sixth break point he faced 2-3. It was the chance he needed.

“I had an incredible opponent out here on the court who played incredible tennis in the third and fourth sets. (But) I stayed really calm, just like Mr. Rod Laver did in his day,” Tsitsipas said.

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Ryan Sederquist

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