Stefanos Tsitsipas shockingly knocks off Roger Federer in Australian Open
- Author: Julie Sanders Jan 26, 2019,
Jan 26, 2019, 14:06
Both players produced tennis of nearly mirroring playing styles, but Tsitsipas' conviction in the pressure moments proved crucial as he secured another notable victory in his burgeoning career.
He has played Novak Djokovic - once, at the Rogers Cup in Toronto - and defeated him.
Roger Federer may be 37-years-old, but he has showed with his recent performances in the Australian Open that he is still more than capable of competing with the best.
It is one of the reasons Nadal will not take Tsitsipas lightly despite beating him in straight sets in their two previous meetings a year ago.
He said, however, that he would play the French Open for the first time since 2015. I also had the feeling it was not necessary to have a long break.
"It felt like I understood a bit better what he was doing on the court after that match, and especially on a hard court". Yeah, I was happy to hear that he was in the commentary booth. Both players have held just over the 85% mark, but with this big discrepancy on return, Nadal's status as a heavy favourite looks completely justified. I think it's going to be a good one.
"I see him definitely being high up in the game for a long time".
"You know, sitting down with my team late past year, it was one of the goals we set out that we wanted to go deep into slams, and I feel like that was the next step for me".
Tsitsipas grew up idolising Federer and there was certainly something of the young Swiss in his armoury, from the flowing single-handed backhand, the willingness to charge the net, and the confidence to believe he could beat his childhood hero.
But this is a completely different deal.
"We're playing well. Put us in the right situation at the right time, we'll take it".
Second-seed Nadal, a 17-time major victor, is coming off three months on the sidelines with knee and ankle injuries but has hit form quickly. Bautista Agut had lost in the fourth round nine times at Slams.
For someone who entered the Australian Open short of match practice, Rafael Nadal is looking scary good. He's serving really well, so I'm going to have to utilize his, and take advantage of my returns as much as possible. "Yeah, he's a legend of our sport".
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is the first player into the Australian Open quarterfinals after beating 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-1 to open play Sunday at Rod Laver Arena.
Saturday was a practice day for Federer at Melbourne Park.
His soft hands serve him well on volleys, and he is that rare man who will press forward as often as Federer and have almost as much success.
As the match approached the four hour mark Tsitsipas brought up his first match point on serve at 6-5.
It's a familiar sight at tournaments. Federer and the crowd were visibly upset that after his treatment, Tsitsipas was taking his time.
For now, he's the aspirant to the throne.