Tsitsipas eyes up Federer after rollicking victory

Tsitsipas eyes up Federer after rollicking victory

Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas is set to follow Marcos Baghdatis' footsteps in Melbourne and have a a souvlaki named in his honour for his Australian Open results. During that 2006 tournament, boisterous and flag-waving Greeks crammed the arenas and courts during Baghdatis' matches, and he admitted their support helped him reach his only Grand Slam final (he lost to Roger Federer).

Fortunately for Tsitsipas' growing army of supporters at Melbourne Park, the Greek managed to find his composure to eventually close out the third set and win the match 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-4.

The 20-year-old 14th seed triumphed 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in two hours and 54 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

It was first time a Greek man and woman have advanced to the third round at the same Grand Slam tournament since 1936.

"That's nice to hear", Sakkari said.

Sakkari had the support of a group of a dozen young men dressed in blue singing Greek songs in between games.

Adding insult to injury the umpire then issued Tsitsipas with a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct as the Greek jokingly applauded in the direction of the linesman.

"I feel so comfortable here, I feel like I am playing at home". He lost his temper and said a few swear words in Greek. "He's serving really well, so I'm going to have to utilise this and take advantage of my returns as much as possible", Tsitsipas said.

"Having such a name like Federer on the other side, it's an extra, I would say, advantage for him, because he's done what he's done".

Twenty-year-old Tsitsipas is arguably the most exciting young talent in men's tennis and his meeting with defending champion Federer on Sunday will be one to savour.

"It's going to be an wonderful thing playing at Rod Laver Arena", Tsitsipas said.

At a later news conference he expanded a bit on his wish: "If I would know that Roger was 2-0 up when I said that, I probably wouldn't have...."

"They give a nice atmosphere, energy on the court", he said.

Tsitsipas was not born when Federer began his professional career but the 37-year-old continues to make top-level tennis look ridiculously easy and his 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 victory over young American Taylor Fritz was full of highlight-reel shots. "I appreciate what they do. So I was really frustrated".

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