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Tsitsipas ‘in the zone’ as he steamrollers Sinner

MELBOURNE (AFP) – Stefanos Tsitsipas said he was “in the zone” after producing his best match of the tournament to demolish Jannik Sinner and storm into his third Australian Open semi-final yesterday.

The Greek fourth seed was at his dazzling best to romp past the 11th-seeded Italian 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in two hour and six minutes and into a semi-final against either Daniil Medvedev or Felix Auger-Aliassime.

It was a most impressive performance from the world number four who grasped control of the quarter-final on Rod Laver Arena with a break in Sinner’s opening service game and did not relinquish his firm grip.

Tsitsipas said his tennis was “way better” than his previous four matches at the year’s opening major.

“It was the most consistent and the best match I’ve had in the tournament,” Tsitsipas said.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates after defeating Jannik Sinner of Italy. PHOTO: AP

“I feel like I’m in the zone. I have no plans of getting out of it. It’s part of my game.

“I was really fired up to bring the best out of my game today, and I tried to get my level as high as possible.”

Not even a rain interruption which forced the stadium’s retractable roof to be closed and change match conditions early in the second set could derail the Tsitsipas momentum.

Tsitsipas also revealed that his doctor had warned him that he would not be recovered in time from right elbow surgery late last year to play in Melbourne.

“Dr Frank spoke from experience that he had with other players that he treated and he was surprised that my healing process was faster than he would have expected,” he said.

Last year’s French Open finalist recaptured his fluency and timing and hit the ball majestically, reeling off 30 winners – 17 on his forehand – and breaking Sinner’s serve four times.

Sinner, rated one of the hottest young talents on the men’s circuit, did not get a break point in any of Tsitsipas’s 14 service games and was blown away.

Tsitsipas broke immediately when the Italian overhit a forehand and served out strongly to take the opening set in 36 minutes.

The Greek grabbed another break in the third game of the second set before rain stopped play and forced the stadium roof to be closed with more threatening weather forecast.

He was relentless and powered his way to a double break in the third set which gave Sinner no way out.

Tsitsipas has reached the semi-finals twice before in Melbourne and became the first Greek player to reach a major final when he lost a two-set lead to Novak Djokovic in last year’s French Open.

“He served better,” said Sinner. “He moved the ball better than me. He was moving better than me.

“It’s tough to play against him when especially he plays like this.”

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