Stefanos Tsitsipas has secured a place in the final of Roland Garros. The 22-year-old Greek was too strong for the German Alexander Zverev in the semifinals on Friday. After five sets he used his fifth match point at 5-3: it was 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3. Tsitsipas becomes the first ever Greek Grand Slam finalist. He will play on Sunday against the winner of the match between thirteen-time title holder Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, which will be played on Friday evening.
After two strong sets, the level of Tsitsipas, the global number 5, fell back on Friday in the third and fourth set. He started to make more mistakes and looked dissatisfied. Zverev slowly but surely took the initiative and started serving better. The German number 6 in the world got three breakpoints in a row in the first game of the decisive set, but Tsitsipas worked them away one by one. That gave Tsitsipas confidence and after a break at 2-1 he ran out. After a long game at 5-2, which he eventually lost, he kept his nerves under control a game later.
read here more about the Greek, an adventurer with a tennis racket
‘Most important win of my career’
Tsitsipas has never qualified for the final battle at a grand slam tournament before. He has already reached the semi-finals three times. Last year he also made it to the last four in Paris; then he lost to Djokovic in five sets. “My thoughts go back to my roots, a small town near Athens,” Tsitsipas said in an interview on the track after his win. “I always dreamed of being able to play on this stage and I never imagined this. This is the most important win of my career.”
Earlier this season, the Greek already won the Monte Carlo masters tournament and was also the best in Lyon in the run-up to Roland Garros. He is also the number 1 in the world annual ranking, with 39 matches won since the start of the season.
The women’s final will be played on Saturday between the Russian Anastasia Pavlioetshenkova and the Czech Barbora Krejcikova. It is the first Grand Slam final in their careers for both players. Pavluchenkova qualified on Friday thanks to a 7-5, 6-3 win over unseeded Slovenian Tamara Zidansek. Krejcikova managed to deal with the Greek Maria Sakkari in a grueling three-setter: 7-5, 4-6, 9-7. (ANP)