Tsitsipas makes short work of Sinner

Seals SF berth with a straight-sets win over Jannik Sinner

Tsitsipas makes short work of Sinner
Pic: Australian Open (twitter)

MELBOURNE: Stefanos Tsitsipas progressed to his third Australian Open semi-final with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory against Jannik Sinner of Italy. The Greek moves to 4-0 in Grand Slam quarter-finals and might play Daniil Medvedev in a rematch of last year's Australian Open semi-final if the Russian eliminates Felix Auger-Aliassime later on Wednesday.

The World No. 4 maintained top level throughout the two-hour, five-minute match on Rod Laver Arena after surviving an up-and-down five-setter against American No. 1 Taylor Fritz. Tsitsipas, who converted all four of his break points, wreaked havoc early in each set. On serve, he was only pushed to deuce once and never faced a break point.

“Jannik is a very good player. So I tried to focus on my best shots and it paid off more than I thought,” Tsitsipas said 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.”

Tsitsipas dazzled the Italian with a blistering start, appearing explosive in his lateral movement and off his preferred forehand side. After holding from 0/30 in the first game, he broke from 40/15 on Sinner's serve to take an early 3-0 lead.

Sinner won 11 straight games on service after that, but Tsitsipas defended his own serve to take the first set in 36 minutes.

The aggressive court positioning of the Greek was rewarded once more with an early break in set two. He won rallies of 14 and 16 balls while staying close to the baseline, and he nailed the line with a down-the-line backhand winner to seize total control.

Sinner had a welcome reprieve from the rain, which forced a 20-minute stoppage as the roof was closed and the court dried. But, like in the first set, both players held serve comfortably as Tsitsipas cruised to a two-set lead.

“It is part of the game,” Tsitsipas said on the roof closing. “I knew I was heading towards the right direction with the game I managed to create from the start of the match. The conditions changed when the roof was closed, slightly faster. I tried to adapt to these new conditions and it just worked.”

As set three maintained the established scoring trend, a spectacular backhand pass brought up another early break. Tsitsipas made it three-for-three on breakpoints after lasering that down-the-line winner off a Sinner swinging volley. An errant mistake from the 11th seed concluded an eight-ball rally. Tsitsipas fought through deuce for the only time in the encounter to hold for 3-1, and another break put an end to Sinner's hopes of a comeback.

Tsitsipas will now await the outcome of the night-session opener in Laver between Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime. Sixth seed Rafael Nadal will face Italy's Matteo Berrettini in the opposite men's semi-final, with both matches slated for Friday in Melbourne.

Edited - SportsAction / Inputs - Agency