Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic will compete for the Australian Open title on Sunday after winning their respective semifinals in contrasting fashions at the Rod Laver Arena.
Tsitsipas reached his first Australian Open final with a 7-6(2) 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 win over Russian 18th seed Karen Khachanov while Djokovic earned a relatively simple 7-5, 6-1,6-2 win over Tommy Paul.
Up first, the third-seeded Greek started the match in auspicious fashion by breaking his opponent early before immediately surrendering his serve. The pair traded breaks again in a see-sawing opening set before Tsitsipas surged ahead in the tiebreak to win the opening set before getting his nose in front in the second set when his opponent’s level dropped.
Up 2-1 in the third, Tsitsipas had a great chance to put the game to bed before Khachanov drew himself level at 5-5 and took the set to another tiebreak.
Tsitsipas again had the chance to finish the match but squandered two match points and allowed Khachanov to take the set. With the prospects of a deciding set looming, the Greek raised his game one last time to take a 3-0 lead in the 4th set before easily sealing his win.
Winning the Australian Open would give Stefanos Tsitsipas the no1 ranking in the world over Carlos Alcaraz but he would have to beat the 9-time champion Novak Djokovic who is in imperious form.
Djokovic, who has never lost an Australian Open semifinal, eased past his American challenger yet again.
The only time he appeared in danger was during the first set when let Tommy Paul fight back from 5-1 down to tie it 5-5 before recovering in time to take the lead. After recovering from that minor slip he never allowed the American a way back into the game romping to a record-extending 10th final at Melbourne Park.
Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka will contest the women’s final tomorrow.