Australian Open Championship. Impressive Stefanos Tsitsipas will meet Khachanov in the semi-finals


Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 24, 2023 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates his quarterfinal win against Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 24, 2023 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates his quarter-final win against Jiri Leheka of the Czech Republic REUTERS/Lauren Elliott.

Stefanos Tsitsipas captured a maiden Grand Slam title by reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open in impressive fashion on Tuesday as Victoria Azarenka also advanced to the last four.

Tsitsipas scored a convincing 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 win over Czech Jiri Lehetska and will next face Karen Khachanov.

Tsitsipas, 24, is the tallest generation left at three years old, and with Melbourne’s large Greek community clamoring for him, his title is accelerating.

“I feel great with my tennis. “I don’t think I’ve felt this good in a long time,” Tsitsipas said after reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open for the fourth time.

“I am a different player, I play differently. My way of thinking is different.”

Tsitsipas, who will become the world number one if he wins the title, was quite in control against 71st-ranked Leheka.

But he lost his cool at one point in the third set, hitting the ball against the wall after losing a point when a boy went to collect it nearby.

“I’m definitely not happy about what I did. I shouldn’t have done that,” Tsitsipas told about the incident.

The other quarter-final at Rod Lever Arena between Russia’s Khachanov and Sebastian Korda was warming up well until the American injured his wrist.

The 18th seed went down as Korda retired in the third set, trailing 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 3-0.

Korda, 22, who was trying to emulate his father Petr’s victory at the 1998 Australian Open, said afterwards that he could barely hold the racket.

He said he first felt the injury while playing at the Adelaide International this month, where he reached the final and forced a championship point before losing to Novak Djokovic.

But that didn’t bother him in the opening four rounds at Melbourne Park until he stormed back in the second set.

“It was almost impossible for me to volley, so it was a bit difficult,” he said.

It is Khachanov’s second consecutive Grand Slam semi-final, reaching the last four at the 2022 US Open.

Nine-time Melbourne champion Djokovic is still in contention against Russian No. 5 Andrei Rublev in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

The other quarterfinal is the all-American showdown between Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul.

“That’s my weapon”

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 24, 2023 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates her quarterfinal win against Jessica Pegula of the United States.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 24, 2023 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates her quarter-final win against Jessica Pegula of the United States REUTERS/Lauren Elliott.

Azarenka is back in the last four in Melbourne for the first time since winning the 2013 tournament and will face Elena Rybakina.

Belarus Azarenka, who also won in 2012, had an impressive straight sets victory over Jessica Pegula.

Third-ranked Pegula was expected to win the title, but the American simply had no answer to Azarenka’s forehand.

Azarenka, 33, rolled back the years in a surprisingly one-sided quarter-final, winning 6-4, 6-1.

“Well, it hurts to beat him because I always want him to do well,” the 24th seed said of Pegula, a close friend and practice partner.

When asked how her young son Leo will take his mother’s latest achievement, Azarenka said:

“He definitely wants his mom to be home.”

Leo will have to wait at least a few more days as Azarenka faces Moscow-born Kazakh Rybakina for a place in the final on Thursday.

Rybakina advanced to the semi-finals with a ruthless 6-2, 6-4 win over Jelena Ostapenko.

23-year-old Rybakina knocked former French Open champion Ostapenko off the court with 11 aces in 79 minutes.

The 22nd seed has hit 35 aces so far, more than any other woman in the tournament.

Unfortunately, he said his serve is better now than when he won it at Wimbledon last year.

“I got even more strength. That’s my weapon in court, and of course we’re trying to work on it,” he said.

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