Melbourne [Australia], January 22 (ANI): Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a marathon five-set-thriller against Jannik Sinner in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday, as he advanced to the quarterfinals at the Rod Laver Arena.
The Greek faced the most challenging test of his campaign from 21-year-old Sinner after cruising through his first three encounters in Melbourne without dropping a set. He was faced with a stern challenge but ended up winning 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, and 6-3 against the Italian.
Tsitsipas maintained his calm and trusted his serve and massive forehand to secure a critical break in the sixth game of the fifth set on the way to a riveting four-hour victory.
"It was a long match, guys, I feel like I spent an entire century in this court playing tennis. It felt so long. What a great night... I'm really excited to be sharing moments like this on the court, especially in Australia. I'm trying to do my best out here, it's not easy. I had an unbelievable opponent on the other side of the court today, playing incredible tennis in the third and fourth sets," said Tsitsipas in his on-court interview as quoted by ATPTour.com.
Despite Tsitsipas cruising the first two sets, Sinner picked up the pace in the third and fourth sets by dominating baseline battles.
However, Tsitsipas' exceptional serving at crucial moments helped preserve his dreams of winning a first Grand Slam championship this fortnight in Melbourne alive, while the Italian was left to rue his wasted opportunities throughout the match.
With the win, Tsitsipas now leads Sinner 5-1 in their ATP head-to-head series. The Greek will next play Jiri Lehecka in a bid to reach his third consecutive Australian Open semifinal.
Should he win the tournament in Melbourne, he will clinch the top spot in the ATP Rankings.
"I think I just released my arm a little bit, released my wrist on the serve. I think that helped me a lot to generate more power and accuracy, something that I wasn't doing before. It completely changed the way I approached the match, since that moment when I made that minor adjustment. That helped me serve it out pretty well towards the end without being too tense," said Tsitsipas. (ANI)