Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Jiri Lehecka, a young Czech player, 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-4, on Tuesday to go to the semifinals of the Australian Open for the fourth time in his career.
After breaking a nervous Lehecka early, the third seed dominated the first set but was challenged throughout by the 21-year-old who has had a breakout campaign.
Lehecka, who had never won a Grand Slam match before arriving in Melbourne, stayed with Tsitsipas in the second set thanks to his powerful baseline game, but the Greek upped his game and won the set easily in a tiebreak.
At 3-3 in the deciding set, Tsitsipas faced a match tiebreaker against Lehecka, but he was able to preserve all three break points.
Lehecka was serving at 4-5 when the 24-year-old pounced, reaching match point with a scorching backhand pass and sealing the triumph as his opponent missed a backhand.
As in the quarterfinals, Tsitsipas will face Russian Karen Khachanov with the full backing of Melbourne’s large Greek community.
Tsitsipas stated on the court, “I can say it was a fair dinkum type of performance.”
The groundstrokes were heavier and deeper than the last time we played, but I managed. I tried my hardest.