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History-making Tsitsipas into semis after four-set win over battling Bautista Agut

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Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates his victory against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut

Image credit: Getty Images

ByMichael Hincks
22/01/2019 at 02:57 | Updated 22/01/2019 at 07:07
@MichaelHincks

Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his history-making charge at the Australian Open after a four-set victory over Roberto Bautista Agut saw the 20-year-old reach the semi-finals.

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After becoming the first Greek to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final when beating Roger Federer, Tsitsipas’ 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) win over Bautista Agut saw him become the youngest men’s semi-finalist at Melbourne Park since Andy Roddick reached the last four 16 years ago.

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Tsitsipas dug deep to overcome 30-year-old Bautista Agut, battling from a break down to take both sets one and three before dominating the fourth-set tie-break to wrap up the win after three hours and 19 minutes on court.

Standing between Tsitispas and a place in Sunday’s final will be either Rafael Nadal or Frances Tiafoe, who go head to head live on Eurosport later on Tuesday.

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“It all feels like a fairytale. I’m just living the dream. I feel a bit emotional, but not too much as I really worked hard to get here,” Tsitsipas said.

I said my goal this year was a Grand Slam semi, I thought I was crazy, but no, it is real - it just happened.

In what was the pair’s first meeting, Bautista Agut took the early initiative when breaking the 14th seed immediately before saving a break point in the fourth game.

However, Tsitsipas quickly rose to the occasion, breaking back to level at 4-4 before sealing the first set with another break in the 12th game.

Bautista Agut, winner at the Qatar Open earlier this month, regained his composure to secure an early break in the second set, and deservedly levelled the match as Tsitsipas’ concentration levels dropped.

A break in the fifth game of the third set saw Bautista Agut edge ahead, but the vocal Greek contingent in the Rod Laver Arena were cheering once more when Tsitsipas fought back to 4-4.

Once more, Tsitsipas recovered from a break down to take the set, converting his third set point with a deft shot which found the line.

As the pressure ramped up in the fourth set, neither player could eke out a break-point opportunity until Tsitsipas brought up match point on the Spaniard’s serve in the 12th game, but Bautista Agut won a remarkable rally to make it deuce before going on to force the tie-break.

The resistance did not last much longer, however, as Tsitsipas raced through the breaker before dropping to the floor in celebration.

Stefanos Tsitsipas drops to the floor in celebration after beating Roberto Bautista Agut

Image credit: Getty Images

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TennisAustralian Open menRoberto BautistaStefanos Tsitsipas
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