Stefanos Tsitsipas is off to his second major final after defeating Karen Khachanov 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 in the semifinals of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday (local time).
Tsitsipas, a 24-year-old from Greece who is the tournament’s third seed, will meet either fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia or unseeded Tommy Paul of the United States in the final on Sunday.
Djokovic, who is aiming for a 10th Australian title and a record 22nd Grand Slam crown, was scheduled to oppose Paul later on Friday.
Khachanov, a 26-year-old Russian who was seeded 18th, matched his best major result by getting to the semifinals. He also reached that stage at the U.S. Open last year.
Tsitsipas and Khachanov each lost serve twice in the opening set, which Tsitsipas won after taking five consecutive points in the tiebreaker.
The second set featured just one break, with Tsitsipas converting to go up 5-4 before holding serve in the next game.
An early break for 2-1 put Tsitsipas up in the third set, but Khachanov broke back when Tsitsipas was serving for the match at 5-4. Tsitsipas then had two match points in the tiebreaker before Khachanov won four points in a row to extend the match.
Tsitsipas quickly recovered to win the first three games of the fourth set and cruise to victory from there.
Before Friday, the only player to push Tsitsipas beyond three sets in the tournament was 15th-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy, who lost a five-setter in the fourth round.
Tsitsipas’ only previous major final was against Djokovic at the French Open last summer. The Greek player won the first two sets before the Djokovic stormed back for a 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win.
Djokovic, talking earlier this week about the players remaining in the Melbourne draw, forgot about that match in Paris.
“I know Tsitsipas, for example, probably (is) the most experienced guy out all of them, all the quarterfinalists,” Djokovic said. “He has played already the final stages of a Grand Slam quite a few times. I think he has never played a finals, am I wrong?”
A reporter responded, “You beat him in Roland Garros, Paris. It was a good match.”
A smiling Djokovic replied, “That’s right, that’s right. Sorry, my bad.”
–Field Level Media