PARIS – Facing three break points in the deciding set against Alexander Zverev at the French Open on Friday, Stefanos Tsitsipas looked set for another Grand Slam semi-final, but the Greek somehow managed to get out of the hole.
The 22-year-old, fifth-seeded, went on the attack and earned the next five points to maintain serve in the first game of the fifth set after witnessing German Zverev erase his two-set lead on the court of Philippe Chatrier.
Those were the last break points in service for Tsitsipas as he outscored the sixth seed with a solo break in the deciding set to book a maiden spot in the Grand Slam final after losing three times in the quarterfinal stage.
“I’m someone who fights,” the Greek told reporters when asked about his 0-40 control down. “I was not ready to give up just yet.
“I think I did few things well that worked in my favor. I was still alive. I was still able to go back to the game.
“It was a breath of fresh air, that first game. I felt revitalized. I felt that now is the time to take advantage of that. “
From then on, Tsitsipas found a way to surpass the mighty Zverev to become the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
He finally ended the three-hour, 37-minute competition with an ace on his fifth match point.
“It means a lot. It was a difficult game. It was a game full of emotions, full of so many different phases that I went through,” he added.
“So in the end it was a huge relief that I was able to close it in such a good way. It was exhausting. I am proud of myself.
“In fact, I love what I’m doing. I love being able to play in this stadium. Obviously, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to play against the best and put myself to the test, something that I have always dreamed of and that I wanted to see happen one day. “
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