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Australian Open 2023: Stefanos Tsitsipas achieves a statement victory in the round of 16 against Jannik Sinner

Jannik Sinner missed 22 of 26 break chances in the round of 16 duel with Stefanos Tsitsipas. In the fifth set, however, the Greek served through without allowing the South Tyrolean to break the ball. “It was a long match, it felt like a century on the court,” said the Greek: “It was a great evening.”

“Compliments to him, he’s been through heaven and hell,” said EurosportExpert Boris Becker on the winner: “He has remained strong.” Tsitsipas was also somewhat at the end of his strength. “I’m so hot I want to jump in the Yarra River,” he said.

Tsitsipas started the match with a break. Sinner equalized to make it 4: 4, but promptly conceded the rebreak, which gave the Greek the first set after 45 minutes.

Australian Open

The match ball: Tsitsipas defeated Sinner in five sets

BEFORE AN HOUR

Tsitsipas, placed three, initially dictated most of the rallies, but Sinner knew how to convince again and again from the second set with strong counterattacks. The South Tyrolean visibly raised his level and caught up another break at the beginning of the second round (2:2).

Tennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas – Jannik Sinner

04:44:53

Tsitsipas callouser than Sinner

“Some of his shots remind me a bit of Djokovic,” said expert Boris Becker as a co-commentator Eurosport. At 4: 4, the 21-year-old had the service taken away again, which was decisive for the set.

Above all, Sinner lacked callousness – in the first two rounds he missed six of eight break chances, while Tsitsipas used all four chances he had as ice cold. It didn’t get any better for the South Tyrolean over the course of the game.

Sinner creates a rebreak and shows the Becker fist

From the third set, however, Sinner played at eye level with Tsitsipas – and sometimes even over it. At 3:1, he pulled away a little for the first time in the match and, despite nine missed break chances (1/10), sealed the round without losing serve.

Sinner catches up 0: 2 set deficit

Now the Greek faltered; Sinner took the service away from him again to make it 2:1 in the fourth and held the break lead until the set was equalized. 3:20 hours were played there.

“He played incredibly in the third and fourth sets,” Tsitsipas also had to admit after the match.

Set equalization after 0:2! Sinner makes a comeback against Tsitsipas

However, the youngster was unable to use the momentum. At the beginning of the fifth set, Tsitsipas took the initiative again. If the South Tyrolean was able to make up for a 0:40 at 1:2, he had to give up a service game later.

Tsitsipas slips away badly – but breaks it

Tsitsipas is a five-set specialist

After exactly 4:00 hours, the Greek then converted his first match point in this close match (154:151 total points for Tsitsipas). A minimal change helped him in the fifth set.

“I let my arm and wrist go a bit more on serve, which helped me a lot to get even more power and accuracy,” he revealed in the winner’s interview: “This small adjustment completely changed my approach and I was good at it serve out. I’m glad I found that out.”

Tsitsipas flatters Laver and wants to jump into the river

For Tsitsipas it was his 15th five-set match in the 22nd Grand Slam participation – he won nine of them. In 13 major participations so far, Sinner has now played the full distance nine times – it was his fifth defeat in five sets.

Sinner is expanding the black series

In addition, a black series continued: At Grand Slams, the South Tyrolean has never been able to win against a player from the top five in the world (0: 5), in ATP tournaments overall his record against the best in the world is 1:16.

“It makes you think that such a good player is losing out against the very front. He has to ask himself: What am I missing in these small, important moments?”, said Eurosport-Expert Barbara Rittner.

The match ball: Tsitsipas defeated Sinner in five sets

The breakballs (4/26) were the sticking point against Tsitsipas. “He has to be a bit more determined and self-confident and contain these slight mistakes. He lacks the consistency at the high level,” said Rittner.

Tsitsipas now against favorite killer Lehecka

In the quarterfinals, Tsitsipas now meets the Czech Jiri Lehecka. The world number 71. Surprisingly, Félix Auger-Aliassime (Canada/No. 6) threw out of the tournament 4: 6, 6: 4, 7: 6 (7: 2), 7: 6 (7: 3). So the “Netflix” curse continued.

The Australian Open is one of the Greek’s favorite tournaments: in 2019, 2021 and 2022 he was in the semi-finals in Melbourne.

Last year he had beaten Sinner smoothly in the quarterfinals on the way there. In direct duels against the South Tyrolean it is now 5: 1 for Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas could become number one

“He always presents himself incredibly fresh and good in Melbourne,” said Rittner: “He enjoys absorbing this energy from the spectators and taking the momentum with him. I think that after Rafael Nadal’s departure he is one of the favorites – but the top favorite is and will be Novak Djokovic as long as the injured thigh lasts.”

Should Tsitsipas win the Australian Open, he would take the top spot in the world rankings. With a final entry he would at least be second in the world rankings for the first time.

Sinner was in the round of 16 at Grand Slam tournaments in Melbourne for the sixth time in a row. However, the South Tyrolean has never made it past the quarter-finals in a major (four appearances).

“Breathtaking sport”: Sinner shows all his skills

Men’s results on Sunday:

  • K. Khachanov (—/18) – Y. Nishioka (JPN/31) 6:0, 6:0, 7:6 (7:4)
  • S. Korda (USA/29) – H. Hurkacz (POL/10) 3:6, 6:3, 6:2, 1:6, 7:6 (10:7)
  • J. Lehecka (CZE) – F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN/6) 4:6, 6:4, 7:6 (7:2), 7:6 (7:3)
  • S. Tsitsipas (GRE/3) – J. Sinner (ITA/15) 6:4, 6:4, 3:6, 4:6, 6:3
You might also be interested in: Pain and victories – Djokovic’s performance raises questions

“What am I doing?” Sinner despairs – and yet it rewards itself

Australian Open 2023: tennis news straight to your phone? Get the Eurosport app!

Tsitsipas defies the warning and takes a 2-0 lead in the set

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Tsitsipas slips away badly – but breaks it

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