Stefanos Tsitsipas made history by becoming the first player from Greece – male or female – to reach a Grand Slam final as he held off Alexander Zverev in a five-set thriller in the French Open at Roland Garros.
The 22-year-old lost a two-set lead to Zverev before holding it together to record a 6-3 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-3 win on a sun-kissed Court Philippe Chatrier.
It took him five match points but Tsitsipas managed to get over the line to extend his winning record over the German to 6-2 as he reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the fourth attempt, having lost his previous three semi-finals.
Hellas History 🙌#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/Kq378soSs2
World No 5 Tsitsipas has been the man in form on clay, having won more matches than any other player in 2021, collecting his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo before winning in Lyon.
He will now prepare for an even greater test against 13-time champion Rafael Nadal or world No 1 Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.
Moving on UP 📈
🇬🇷 @steftsitsipas is projected to reach a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 4 on Monday. pic.twitter.com/lPh1gyBFJu
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The tension is real 😬#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/uWXMQxsrEA
Speaking through tears as the crowd roared in support, Tsitsipas said: “All I can think of is my roots, where I came from outside Athens. My dream was to play here. My dream was to play on the big stage of the French Open one day.
“It was nerve-racking, it was so intense. Fifth set, first game, I think it was the most important game of the fifth set. I came back, I stayed alive. I had the crowd with me. They were cheering me on, they were giving me their energy.
“I still felt there was hope. I still felt there were opportunities for me to fight back and do something. Your only job is to go out there and fight, and that’s what I did.
“It was very difficult, very emotional. I went through a lot of phases of emotional breakdowns but this win means a lot. This win is the most important one of my career so far.”
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