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Tsitsipas Advances To Maiden Aussie Open Final

Tsitsipas survives Khachanov 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 for maiden Aussie Open final

This semifinal duel had everything: a point penalty, whiffed overheads, foot faults and missed opportunities but in the end, order was restored. Stefanos Tsitsipas had reached his fourth semi since 2019 but had yet to progress to the championship match.

His lone grand slam final appearance was a devastating five-set loss to former world #1 Novak Djokovic at the 2021 French Open. The twenty-four year old with nine career titles is currently ranked 4th and seeded third.

Although the Greek led the Russian 5-0 in the head to head including four on hardcourts, the Russian was appearing in his second consecutive grand slam semifinal. The twenty-six year old form Moscow reached a career high ranking of #8 in 2019 but is currently ranked 20th and seeded 18th.

Tsitsipas won the toss and with an ace up the tee, held at love for 1-0 while Khachanov missed 5/5 first serves yet held to 15 to level. The world #4 missed 3/5 first serves but held to 15 for 2-1 while the Russian faced double break point and dumped serve when he missed wide with the forehand.


Tsitsipas donated two backhand errors and gave back the break when he netted a forehand. Khachanov consolidated the break at love while Tsitsipas struck four consecutive winners including another ace to hold at love for 4-3.

Khachanov serving with new balls, missed 5/8 first serves and dropped serve following a spectacular inside-in forehand from Tsitsipas who preceded to gift two consecutive double faults and with two additional unforced errors, gave back the break.

Khachanov serving to stay in the set at 4-5, hit three winners including his first ace to level at 5-5. Tsitsipas taking too much time between points, lost a first serve as a result of a time violation, then proceeded to double fault to face 0-30. He regrouped admirably holding for 6-5 with a well-struck inside-out forehand and a monster serve out wide.

Khachanov once again served to stay in the set and force the breaker. After netting a backhand volley on the opening point, the 18th seed struck four consecutive winners including his second ace to level at 6-6. Tsitsipas raced to a 6-1 lead despite being called for a foot fault and clinched the breaker 7-2 with a massive serve up the tee.

Khachanov a bit dejected, served first in the second and faced deuce yet held for 1-0 with two well-struck volleys while Tsitsipas hit three winners including his third ace to level at 1-1. Khachanov continued to target his opponent’s one-handed backhand and while it often paid dividends, he faced two deuce and three break points before holding with a colossal serve out wide.


Tsitsipas serving with new balls, opened the fourth with his 4th ace and though he was called for another foot fault, held easily to 15 for 2-2 while Khachanov made 4/4 first serves and held at love for 3-2.

Tsitsipas with another forehand winner and ace up the tee, held to 15 to level while Khachanov ripped a backhand down the line for 4-3 while Tsitsipas with another foot fault, double faulted and faced two deuce points but with three aces, held for 4-4.

Khachanov opened the 9th with an overcooked forehand and faced double break point following an exhilarating 22-shot rally which he should have won and dropped serve after missing wide with the forehand. Tsitsipas hit three consecutive winners including his 9th ace and secured the set 6-4 when his opponent’s return sailed long.

Khachanov served first in the third and with an ace on the opening point and a huge serve out wide, held for 1-0 while Tsitsipas opened and closed with inside-in forehands to hold at love to level. Khachanov serving with new balls, opened with a crisp backhand volley winner but faced two deuce and three break points and dumped serve when he overcooked an inside-in forehand.

Tsitsipas consolidated the break for 3-1 with two consecutive forehand winners while Khachanov held for 2-3 with two consecutive aces. Tsitsipas netted a makeable forehand to face deuce but with two consecutive winners including his 10th ace, held for 4-2.

Khachanov opened the 7th with a double fault but with a stunning backhand down the line and two aces, held for 3-4. The Greek just two games from his maiden Australian Open final, made 4/4 first serves including his 11th ace to hold at love for 5-3 while the Russian serving to stay in the match, opened with a potent serve up the tee and with two consecutive forehand winners, held at love forcing his opponent to serve it out.

The Greek, however, was not up to the task; with a netted backhand and a mishit overhead dropped serve, extending a lifeline to his opponent. Khachanov snatched it and with two consecutive winners including his 9th ace, held at love for 6-5. While Tsitsipas floundered, the Russian came to life.

The Greek opened with a fantastic inside-out forehand and with his 12th ace, held to 15 to force the tiebreak. They changed ends at 3-3 and after two consecutive forehand winners, Tsitsipas led 5-3 then reached double match point at 6-4.

The Russian refused to capitulate striking two outstanding winners one off each side to level at 6-6 and seized the breaker following two groundstroke errors from Tsitsipas while the crowd erupted in applause knowing they would get to see at least one additional set.

Following the conclusion of the third set, Tsitsipas left the court no doubt to gather himself before serving to open the fourth. While he missed 4/8 first serves including his 5th double fault, he held with his 14th ace and an overhead smash.

Khachanov faced triple break point following a barrage of formidable forehands and dropped serve when he overcooked a backhand. Tsitsipas struck three consecutive winners including two aces and consolidated the break at love for 3-0 while Khachanov held to 30 for 1-3.

The Greek opened the 5th with a netted forehand but held to 15 for 4-1 with a marvelous slice backhand volley down the line while Khachanov with well-placed serves, returned the favor to level.     

Tsitsipas made 3/4 first serves including his 17th ace and held at love for 5-2 while Khachanov, serving to stay in the match, hit three winners including an ace to hold at love for 3-5. The Greek was determined to shut the door for good. He opened the 9th with a fabulous forehand crosscourt and with his 18th ace, closed out the game, set and match.

After close to 3 ½ hours, the Greek progressed to his first Australian Open final where he will battle the 9-time champion and former world #1, Novak Djokovic. Should Tsitsipas win, he will assume the #1 ranking for the first time. If Djokovic prevails, he will accomplish three things; reclaim the #1 ranking he lost to Daniil Medvedev last February, win his 10th Australian Open championship and tie Rafa Nadal with twenty-two grand slam titles.

Djokovic leads the head-to-head 10-2. The last time the Greek tasted victory was in 2019 in three tight sets in the quarters at the Shanghai Masters. Will the Serb’s hamstring injury hamper him or will Tsitsipas dwell on losing a two sets to love lead the last time they played a grand slam final?  Either way, we are in for a treat!

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