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Tsitsipas Subdues Lehecka to Reach Australian Open Semi-Final

Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the Australian Open semi-finals for the fourth time as the Greek saw off rising Czech Jiri Lehecka 6-3 7-6(2) 6-4 on Tuesday.

The third seed dominated the opening set after breaking a nervy Lehecka early on, but was pushed hard after that against the 21-year-old who has enjoyed a breakout tournament.

Lehecka, who had never won a Grand Slam match before arriving in Melbourne, used his powerful baseline game to stay with Tsitsipas in the second set, but the Greek raised his game to ease through the tiebreak.

Tsitsipas was forced to save three successive break points at 3-3 in the third set, however, as Lehecka threatened to extend the Rod Laver Arena clash.

The 24-year-old then pounced with Lehecka serving at 4-5, reaching match point with a searing backhand pass and wrapping up victory as his opponent netted a backhand.

Tsitsipas will face Russian Karen Khachanov in the semi-final when he will again enjoy strong support from the many Greek-origin fans in Melbourne.

Lehecka, who enjoyed impressive wins against seeded players Borna Coric, Cameron Norrie and Felix Auger-Aliassime during his run, will rue not taking any of eight break points.

His big chance came when Tsitsipas double-faulted to go 0-40 down at 3-3 in the third set, but he was unable to convert any of them and after that the writing was on the wall.

Tsitsipas Sends Cheeky Invite to Actress Margot Robbie after Reaching Semis

Stefanos Tsitsipas produced a blockbuster performance to reach the Australian Open semi-final on Tuesday then sent out an invitation to actress Margot Robbie to come and support him.

The Greek, who enjoys great support in Melbourne, surprised fans during his on-court interview after beating Czech Jiri Lehecka by admitting he was a big fan of Robbie, who most recently starred in the film ‘Babylon’.

“Australia is such a great country,” Tsitsipas said. “I like a lot of Aussie things. One of my favourite actresses comes from here, Margot Robbie.”

Pushed to shed more light on his apparent crush by interviewer Jim Courier, the 24-year-old Tsitsipas added: “It would be nice to see her here one day,” confirming that it was an invitation for her to come and watch.

Tsitsipas will play Russian Karen Khachanov in his fourth Australian Open semi-final, hoping to go one step further than on the previous occasions.

He will certainly be favorite against Khachanov and Tsitsipas says he feels in great shape, highlighting a new mental edge in his quest to win his first Grand Slam title.

“I’m feeling great with my tennis. I don’t think I felt so good in a long time. I will definitely say ‘yes’ to it,” the third seed told reporters. “I’m a different player, playing different… My mentality is different. When I’m out on the court, I don’t really think of negatives, to be honest. I just go out there and play the game.”

Tsitsipas, who reached the French Open final in 2021 when he lost to Novak Djokovic, has seen other young players move past him in the rankings, but said it does not concern him and was happy that the focus switches to others.

“I passed through this myself. At some point it fades out a little bit ’cause you are an adult. You are not any more a kid. These guys are still sort of in the transition mode. They’re still there,” he said.

“I’m very happy to be out on the court. I’m very happy to be performing. I’m very happy to hit some good shots. It’s just this whole dynamic that has made me very hungry and has created a lot of desire for me to be playing tennis.”

 

Sources: Reuters, ekathimerini

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