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Tsitsipas Holds Off Sinner Charge To Reach Australian Open QFs

Stefanos Tsitsipas passed a real test of his title-winning credentials Sunday at the Australian Open, where the third seed held firm in the face of a Jannik Sinner onslaught to clinch a thrilling 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 fourth-round victory.

Having marched through his opening three matches in Melbourne without dropping a set, the Greek was presented with the biggest test of his campaign by 21-year-old Sinner. For the first two sets, Tsitsipas seemed on course to repeat his straight-sets win against the Italian in the pair’s quarter-final at the 2022 Australian Open, but his hopes of a similarly one-sided result were dashed by a remarkable change in level from his opponent.

An increasingly confident Sinner dominated the baseline exchanges in the third and fourth sets to carry the momentum into a decider on Rod Laver Arena. Yet Tsitsipas retained his composure, dialled in behind his serve and huge forehand, and clinched a decisive break in the sixth game of the fifth set en route to a gripping four-hour win.

“It was a long match, guys, I feel like I spent an entire century in this court playing tennis,” said Tsitsipas to the crowd. “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.”

The victory extended Tsitsipas’ ATP Head2Head series lead against Sinner to 5-1. The Greek, who will rise to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time should he lift the trophy in Melbourne, will next take on Jiri Lehecka as he bids for a third straight Australian Open semi-final appearance.

More to follow…

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