Stefanos Tsitsipas handed an actual check of his title-winning credentials Sunday on the Australian Open, the place the third seed held agency within the face of a Jannik Sinner onslaught to clinch an exhilarating 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 fourth-round victory.

Having marched by means of his opening three matches in Melbourne with out dropping a set, the Greek was offered with the largest check of his marketing campaign by 21-year-old Sinner. For the primary two units, Tsitsipas stayed on monitor to repeat his straight-sets quarter-final win in opposition to the Italian in Melbourne a 12 months in the past, however his hopes of a equally one-sided consequence have been dashed by a exceptional change in stage from his opponent.

An more and more assured Sinner dominated the baseline exchanges within the third and fourth units to hold the momentum right into a decider on Rod Laver Enviornment. But Tsitsipas retained his composure, dialled in behind his serve and big forehand, and clinched a decisive break within the sixth sport of the fifth set en path to a gripping four-hour win.

“It was a protracted match, guys, I really feel like I spent a whole century on this courtroom enjoying tennis,” mentioned Tsitsipas to the gang. “It felt so lengthy. What an important evening… I’m actually excited to be sharing moments like this on the courtroom, particularly in Australia. I’m attempting to do my finest out right here, it’s not simple. I had an unbelievable opponent on the opposite facet of the courtroom right now, enjoying unbelievable tennis within the third and fourth units.”

The victory prolonged Tsitsipas’ ATP Head2Head collection lead in opposition to Sinner to 5-1. The Greek, who will rise to No. 1 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the primary time ought to he raise the trophy in Melbourne, will subsequent tackle Jiri Lehecka as he bids for a 3rd straight Australian Open semi-final look.

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Early in Sunday’s conflict, Sinner steadily struggled to match Tsitsipas’ consistency within the baseline exchanges because the third seed delighted his vocal supporters within the crowd with a medical show throughout the primary two units. Having damaged Sinner’s serve 4 instances for a two-sets-to-love lead, nonetheless, Tsitsipas misplaced his manner.

Sinner started to dictate with ease from the baseline and was significantly efficient along with his drop shot. The Italian carved out 18 break level probabilities throughout the third and fourth units and, regardless of solely changing two of them, levelled a match he had appeared destined to comfortably lose.

From there, the higher expertise of three-time Australian Open semi-finalist Tsitsipas started to indicate. He steadied himself with a barrage of highly effective and exact serving earlier than crucially breaking Sinner within the sixth sport of the deciding set. The 24-year-old remained untroubled on serve from then on to seal a spot in his sixth Grand Slam quarter-final.

“I feel I simply launched my arm just a little bit, launched my wrist on the serve,” mentioned Tsitsipas, who made 92 per cent (24/26) of first serves within the fifth set. “I feel that helped me lots to generate extra energy and accuracy, one thing that I wasn’t doing earlier than. It utterly modified the best way I approached the match, since that second after I made that minor adjustment. That helped me serve it out fairly effectively in direction of the top with out being too tense.”

Tsitsipas, who now holds a 19-5 report on the Australian Open, subsequent prepares for a second tour-level assembly in opposition to 21-year-old Lehecka. The Czech will probably be feeling assured after upsetting sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(2), 7-6(3) earlier on Sunday, though it was Tsitsipas who prevailed in three units within the pair’s earlier tour-level assembly in Rotterdam final February.

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