Tsitsipas returns to the semis in Australia and threatens Alcaraz’s number one

He firmly defeats Jiri Lehecka in three units (6-3, 7-6(2) and 6-4) and can face Karen Khachanov. If she wins the event, she is going to lead the ATP rankings.

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates his victory.AFP

Stefanos Tsitsipas The Australian Open looks like a second dwelling. Melbourne is dwelling to nearly 200,000 individuals of Greek descent and at Rod Laver Enviornment you might be greeted as for those who have been one among them. There he has given his finest degree extra constantly, there he’ll play his fourth semifinal within the final 5 editions, and there he hurries his choices to be topped primary on this planet. The Hellene firmly defeated the rising Jiri Lehecka in three units (6-3, 7-6(2) and 6-4 in 2 hours, 17 minutes) and will likely be measured with Karen Khachanova for a spot within the ultimate.

It will be his first ultimate on the Australian Open, as a result of the three earlier occasions he reached the semifinals he stayed on the gates. One misplaced it towards Rafael Nadal and the final two, earlier than Daniel Medvedev. And to interrupt that ceiling, it has been positioned within the arms of an Australian with Hellenic roots, mark philippoussis. Every little thing stays at dwelling.

With the Australian he has gained forcefulness together with his forehand and solidity on serve, weapons that helped him to comprise Lehecka’s power. Tsitsipas’s reactions communicate greater than the results of how a lot the Czech made him sweat, each time he saved a state of affairs. The punches within the air and the shouts of rage, generally to the stands, which fed him again, and generally to his field. The one one who remained calm was Philippoussis.

Eight ball ‘break’

Lehecka had as much as eight break balls, and all eight have been saved by Tsitsipas, who has stopped greater than 85% of these he has had towards in Australia. 5 got here abruptly within the fourth recreation of the second set, which ended like the remainder of probably the most tense moments for the Greek. With screams, punches, and one other recreation within the bag.

Of all the small print that Lehecka left in an important recreation of his profession (the barrel on the correct, the subtlety within the internet), maybe probably the most important was his response to these setbacks. The Czech, at 21, maintained his dedication at moments that would have damaged him, and solely trembled within the final recreation, with the understanding of defeat already forward.

In the identical means that Tsitsipas has a ceiling within the semifinal of the Australian Open, Jiri Lehecka appears to have it within the Greek tennis participant. The Czech broke a 12 months in the past reaching the semifinal of the Rotterdam Open, however his dream of his first ATP ultimate was damaged by Tsitsipas. In the identical means, he had by no means handed the primary spherical in a Grand Slam event and right here he had reached the quarterfinals defeating two seeds, Cameron Norrie Y Auger-Aliassime. His path ends on the identical level.

Tsitsipas continues to be alive within the struggle for his first Grand Slam title, which for him would have an additional prize: if he wins in Melbourne, at ‘dwelling’, he’ll take the world primary from Carlos Alcaraz.