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Greek wunderkind Tsitsipas knocks out defending champ Federer

Last updated on: January 20, 2019 18:02 IST

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece reacts after winning his fourth round match against Roger Federer of Switzerland. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Roger Federer's bid for a hat-trick of Australian Open titles was crushed on Sunday as Greek wunderkind Stefanos Tsitsipas rose up to floor the Swiss master and become his nation's first Grand Slam quarter-finalist.

 

In a match pitting the oldest and youngest players left in the men's draw, the 20-year-old Tsitsipas overhauled Federer 6-7(11), 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5) under the lights of Rod Laver Arena, sparking delirium among Greek fans out in force at Melbourne Park.

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Roger Federer looks dejected. Photograph: Jack Thomas/Getty Images

The 37-year-old Federer, 20 times a Grand Slam champion, will rue his chances, having failed to convert any of the 12 break points he took from Tsitsipas over the course of a riveting clash laden with sparkling shot-making.

Instead, it was Tsitsipas showing a wise head on young shoulders in a final tiebreak of unrelenting tension.

When given a match point after Federer slapped a forehand long, he converted it clinically, forcing a backhand error from the Swiss to announce himself on one of the game's biggest stages.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

IMAGE: Tsitsipas will play 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

He raised his arms in triumph and roared at the terraces, bringing tears of joy to his brother's eyes in the players' box.

"There's nothing I can describe, I cannot describe it, I am the happiest man on earth right now," Tsitsipas said in his courtside interview.

"Roger is a legend of our sport, he showed such good tennis over the years. I have been idolising him since I was six."

"It's very important to have an aggressive mindset, stay in the moment, press from the beginning. I didn't lose my patience, stayed in those rallies. It was very important to save those breakpoints."

Tsitsipas will play 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the semi-finals.

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