Tsitsipas beats gutsy Khachanov to reach first Australian Open final

MELBOURNE, Jan 27 — Stefanos Tsitsipas blazed his way into a first Australian Open final with a 7-6(2) 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 win over Russian 18th seed Karen Khachanov on Friday.

Greek third seed Tsitsipas, who had crashed three times at the semi-final stage at Melbourne Park, will play either favourite Novak Djokovic or Tommy Paul for the title.

The 2021 French Open runner-up forced an error on the Khachanov forehand to grab an early break only to immediately surrender his serve.

The pair traded breaks again in a see-sawing opening set but Tsitsipas came alive in the tiebreak and surged ahead in the match before getting his nose in front in the next set when Khachanov’s level dropped.

Despite being rattled by three foot faults and two time violations on serve, Tsitsipas looked more comfortable after winning the second set.

The 24-year-old broke Khachanov for a 2-1 lead in the third but the Russian bravely drew level at 5-5 before it went to a tiebreak.

Tsitsipas hit two superb inside-out forehands to draw roars from the crowd but squandered two match points and allowed Khachanov to take the set.

The Greek regrouped in the fourth set to go 3-0 up and finished the match in style to claim a place in his second Grand Slam final. — Reuters


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