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Australian Open: Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas battles to five-set win over Taylor Fritz

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Published in Tennis
Monday, 24 January 2022 05:40

Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas battled to a thrilling five-set victory over American Taylor Fritz to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The 23-year-old twice came from behind to record a 4-6 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-4 win shortly after midnight in Melbourne.

It will be a third Australian Open quarter-final for 2021 French Open finalist Tsitsipas as he continues his bid for a first major title.

He will meet Italian 11th seed Jannik Sinner in the last eight.

Sinner, who is through to the Australian Open last eight for the first time, defeated Australian 32nd seed Alex de Minaur 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-4.

World number four Tsitsipas, who had surgery on his right elbow in November, had to show fight and resilience to overcome Fritz in the American's first major fourth round appearance.

The 20th seed was not short on confidence following a five-set victory over Spanish 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the previous round and brought up the first break points of the contest on Rod Laver Arena in the fifth game.

Though unable to take that early chance, he clinched his third break point in the seventh game and went on to calmly seal the set with a love hold.

The American did not face a break point until the 10th game of the second set - but in a closely fought duel it proved decisive as Tsitsipas capitalised on a rare opportunity to level the match.

The Greek escaped four break points to hold under pressure in his opening game of the third but Fritz persevered, eventually making the breakthrough with a seventh break point of the set in the seventh game.

The stubborn Tsitsipas continued to thrive under pressure and he saw off three set points to hold, however Fritz once again served out to love to move one set from victory.

An enthralling encounter was taken to a fifth set as the indomitable Tsitsipas broke at the second attempt for a 5-3 lead before rescuing two break points to complete the job.

Serving first in the final set Fritz held to love in consecutive games to lead 4-3, yet Tsitsipas was clinical when it mattered. Breaking for 5-4, he then needed just one chance, securing the win with his first match point to end an enthralling contest.

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