Stefanos Tsitsipas continues clutch run at the Australian Open
Stefanos Tsitsipas has come through in the clutch time and again this Australian Open and did it again against Jiri Lehecka.
Tsitsipas downed Lehecka 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-4 in two hours and 17 minutes.
Under siege from a heavy-hitter yet again, having overcome Jannik Sinner in the previous round, Tsitsipas did a better job of putting the Czech away when he had his chances.
Before he got those chances, Tsitsipas needed to hang on under pressure, which has been a pattern in this tournament.
However, something else repeated time and again is Tsitsipas coming through in the important moments.
He has been brilliant at formulating and adapting his game plans throughout and is full value for his run to the last four.
Tsitsipas cut a relieved figure, feeling that winning the second set tiebreaker saved him a heck of a fight.
“It felt different this time from any other match [this week], but the most important thing is that at the end I found a solution” said Tsitsipas in his on-court interview.
“It was a very difficult three-setter, one of the most difficult ones that I had so far in the competition.
“I think Jiri had a very good tournament. He is someone who started playing well recently and I wish him the best in the future, because he is a great player.
“I had to deal with the groundstrokes that were coming off the racquet from the other side of the court much heavier, much deeper,” said Tsitsipas.
“So that was a task in which I had to really put my heart out there and give it my best.
“I know the [second-set] tie-break became a very crucial tie-break [for] who was going to get back into the match. The way I saw it, that was my opportunity to really take a massive lead there, and I’m very happy with the way I closed the second set.”
Tsitsipas is one of two men who could become the World No 1 should he lift the Australian Open trophy on Sunday.
The other is Novak Djokovic, who faces Andrey Rublev in a quarter-final matchup on Wednesday with the winner going on to face the victor of the All-American clash between Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton both of whom have never reached a Grand Slam semi-final.
Tsitsipas will have to get beyond Karen Khachanov in the semi-finals to keep his World No 1 hopes alive.
READ MORE: Who is Stefanos Tsitsipas’ girlfriend Theodora Petalas?
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