More than a walk. The highest. By beating the Russian Khachanov in four sets (7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 in 3:21), Stefanos Tsitsipas, 24, opened the doors to the Australian Open final . Sunday, the Greek has a double appointment with history for a first Grand Slam title synonymous with the place of world No. 1.
“I like number, he smiles on the Rod Laver Arena answering questions from a former incumbent, the American Jim Courier, post-match interviewer. It’s the 1 what, there’s only you. I worked hard to find myself in this kind of situation, it’s even bigger than a final, it’s a childhood dream to have this opportunity. I am extremely happy to be in the final, I feel blessed to play at this level and I am happy, with Maria Sakkari, to have put Greece on the tennis map. So, let’s go! »
In 2006, little Stefanos watched the Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis offer himself a Sunday mass (lost) against Federer. “I was thinking that maybe one day I would be there too,” he slips. On what he has shown since the start of the fortnight, the No. 4 at ATP has not usurped his place. Even if everything was not perfect on Friday against a player he had beaten five times out of five and now remains on twenty-three defeats in a row against members of the top 10.
The resident of the Mouratoglou academy, trained by his father Apostolos, should have folded the case in three sets. The Greek served for the win at 5-4 in the third set before getting two match points in the tiebreak. Without reaching a conclusion. An entry break in the fourth set allowed him to manage the end of the match more calmly.
“I thought about everything I had to do to put myself in such a good position and I hung on,” he sums up. To try to win his first Major after nine ATP tournaments including the 2019 Masters, Tsitsipas will not go completely into the unknown. In 2021, he had reached the Roland-Garros final and led two sets to nothing before losing to Novak Djokovic, opposed to the surprising American Tommy Paul in the second semi-final. It remains to be seen whether Australian actress Matgot Robbie will be in the stands to support him. After his quarter against Lehecka, Tsitsipas had made a big call to the Hollywood star, currently playing in Babylon…