Tsitsipas Eyes Up Federer After Rollicking Victory
Fiery Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas was looking forward to a last-16 clash with Roger Federer after overcoming a mini-meltdown to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 at the Australian Open Friday.
“It will be amazing playing Roger on Rod Laver,” said Tsitsipas of the Swiss great.
The 14th seed, touted among the new generation of young stars as a future champion, came through the third round after being docked his first serve for exceeding the shot clock at a crucial moment while facing a break point in the third set.
The powerful Georgian Basilashvili seeded 19, took advantage on the second delivery to break back causing Tsitsipas to unload a verbal tirade in the direction of his coaching team in his player box.
French umpire Alexandre Robein clearly understood enough of Greek and English vernacular to slap the 20-year-old with a code violation for an audible obscenity.
But backed by a raucous Greek contingent in a rowdy atmosphere on Margaret Court Arena, he recovered his composure to win the set in a tense tiebreak.
He cruised through the fourth set to become the first Greek man to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam twice, after reaching the same stage at Wimbledon last year.
“It’s good to have such support and exciting to have an atmosphere like this,” said Tsitsipas.
“I feel like I’m playing at home, I never had so many Greek — and Aussie — people support me.”