Breaking: Federer’s slayer flog Agut, zooms into Australian Open semis




Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets to continue his superb run in Melbourne and reach the Australian Open semi-finals.

At 20 years and 168 days, Tsitsipas is the youngest man to reach the last four of a Grand Slam since Novak Djokovic at the 2007 US Open.

The Greek 14th seed won 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) in three hours and 15 minutes.

He will face Spanish 2009 champion Rafael Nadal or unseeded American Frances Tiafoe next.

“It all feels like a fairytale almost. I’m just living the dream, living what I’ve been working for,” he said.

“I feel a bit emotional but not too much because I know I really worked hard to get here.”

Tsitsipas became the first Greek player to go beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam when he knocked out six-time champion Roger Federer to reach the quarter-finals.

He is the youngest man to reach the last four in Melbourne since Andy Roddick in 2003.

Any suggestion of a ‘Federer hangover’ was squashed by Tsitsipas, who demonstrated just why he is considered one of the hottest young prospects in tennis.

There were signs of tiredness and a lack of concentration in parts. He started off slowly, dropping serve in the opening game after sloppily smashing an overhead into the net.

But the Greek responded to break twice from 4-2 down, hitting 17 winners and picking up 90% of the points on his first serve in the first set.

His focus wavered again at the start of the second and a first double fault in the third game of the set contributed to a break of serve for Bautista Agut, who went on to level the match.

The 22nd seed again took the upper hand in the third – moving 4-2 up for the third set in a row – and Tsitsipas’ volleying continued to let him down on key points.

The 20-year-old was too casual and his concentration levels dipped before a second time violation when serving seemed to refocus him.

Tsitsipas needed three break points to level at 4-4 in the third and then broke again with a superb sliced backhand on Bautista Agut’s next service game to secure the set.

All the momentum was with the Greek, and though he was given a warning for coaching during the break between sets, Tsitsipas rose to the challenge.

Bautista Agut could only win three out of 13 points on Tsitsipas’ second serve in the fourth set and a double fault from the Spaniard brought up match point at 5-6.

He was not going to go down without a fight, though, and a brave forehand on the line saved it before Bautista Agut went on to hold serve and force a tie-break.

Tsitsipas immediately stamped his authority with two mini-breaks, although Bautista Agut did retrieve them to pull it back to 3-2.

However, the Greek won the final five points and when Bautista Agut’s forehand slumped into the net, Tsitsipas fell to the ground in disbelief.

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