January 24, (THEWILL) – Stefanos Tsitsipas has stormed into the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the fourth time after beating Jiri Lehecka 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-4.
Despite only breaking Lehecka’s serve twice throughout the entire match, Tsitsipas outshone his opponent at the end of the second and third sets to secure his spot in the last four. The Greek raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set, breaking Lehecka at the fifth time of asking in a long second game.
That proved decisive as the remaining games in the set were shared to give Tsitsipas the advantage. However, in the second set, Lehecka put pressure on Tsitsipas’ serve with five breakpoint opportunities in the fourth game but some big serving from Tsitsipas got him out of trouble. The tie-break was crucial and Tsitsipas stamped his authority by winning the opening four points and dented the confidence of Lehecka.
He finished off the set with a delightful cross-court forehand winner to go a set away from a place in the semi-finals. It was not as easy for him as the first but Tsitsipas prevailed 6-4. He will now face Karen Khachanov, who advanced against Sebastian Korda after the American retired, on Thursday.
Commenting after, Tsitsipas said: “It felt different from any other match. The most important thing, in the end, was I found a solution. It was a very difficult three-setter, one of the most difficult ones I’ve had in the competition.”