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Tsitsipas powers previous Lehecka into Australian Open semi-finals

Melbourne: Stefanos Tsitsipas blasted right into a fourth Australian Open semi-final on Tuesday and a showdown with Karen Khachanov as he zeroes in on a maiden Grand Slam title.
The Greek third seed proved too highly effective for unseeded Czech Jiri Lehecka on Rod Laver Area, storming dwelling 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.

He’ll face the Russian 18th seed Khachanov for a spot in his first Melbourne Park closing, having crashed within the semis 3 times beforehand, together with previously two years.

Russia’s Khachanov booked his place when American Sebastian Korda retired harm with a wrist harm whereas trailing 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 3-0.

“It felt totally different this time from every other match and crucial factor ultimately is that I discovered an answer,” mentioned Tsitsipas, who will grow to be world primary ought to he win the title.

Novak Djokovic also can obtain the feat if he does the identical.

“It was a really tough three-setter, one of the tough to this point within the competitors,” added Tsitsipas, 24.

“Jiri had an excellent match, he’s began taking part in very effectively just lately. He’s an important participant.

“I needed to take care of his groundstrokes, which have been coming over the online a lot heavier and deeper, in order that was a process the place I actually needed to put my coronary heart on the market and provides it my finest,” he added.

Lehecka, ranked 71, warned Tsitsipas earlier than the match he wished revenge after shedding to him within the semi-finals at Rotterdam final yr.

However the 21-year-old, who beat eleventh seed Cameron Norrie and sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime en path to the final eight, was instantly below the gun.

Tsitsipas labored 5 break factors on his opening service recreation and obtained over the road when the Czech smacked a backhand volley extensive.

He consolidated for a 3-0 lead and along with his sturdy first serve providing Lehecka few alternatives to strike again, coasted to the primary set in 36 minutes, sealing it with an ace.

Tsitsipas saved 5 break factors to carry in an important third recreation of the second set as Lehecka got here alive and commenced making use of stress.

Each gamers dug in and it went with serve to a tiebreak, the place the Greek saved his cool to take an early benefit that he by no means gave up.

In a detailed third set, Tsitsipas’s second double fault of the evening handed Lehecka three break factors in recreation seven.

However he saved all of them to carry, pumping the air in celebration.

With the bit between his enamel, the Greek star dialed up the stress as Lehecka served to remain within the contest and a crosscourt backhand earned him a match level which he transformed.

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