Assured Tsitsipas serves up a storm to reach fourth round

Reuters

World number four Stefanos Tsitsipas did not drop a service game, despite losing a set, as he overpowered Benoit Paire to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open on Saturday.

The Greek was on course for a straight-sets win but decisively lost a tiebreak to the Frenchman, before going on to see out victory 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4 in 2hr 42min in a steamy Rod Laver Arena.

Tsitsipas will face Taylor Fritz for a place in the quarter-finals after the American overcame Spanish 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-0, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Tsitsipas is a two-time semi-finalist in Melbourne but is yet to win a Grand Slam title.

"I'm happy with the way I fought at the end," he said.

"He certainly didn't have to work as hard as I did for the points, but that paid off at the end with me being consistent and patient when I had to be.

"I'm pretty glad with the win. Benoit is one of the biggest talents in our game, he has a lot of feel for the game," Tsitsipas said of his French opponent, ranked 56th in the world.

"It was a very important victory for me today and also very special to be playing on this arena and sharing that with the crowd."

Tsitsipas served strongly with 21 aces and winning 89 percent of his first serve-points. It was his first win over Paire at a major.

Looking ahead to his next opponent Fritz, Tsitsipas said: "Big server, big hitter. He has weapons. I have played him before. I will really have to stay consistent and keep pushing him back.

"I feel like it's going to be really important to stay consistent with my shots and my serve and remain focused when I am going to be given some opportunities in that match."

Tsitsipas became the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam final when he lost to Novak Djokovic in last year's French Open final after leading by two sets.

He also holds the distinction of beating both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on his way to his two previous semi-final appearances at the Australian Open.


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