Roland Garros 2021: Tsitsipas eliminated Zverev and waits for Djokovic or Nadal in his first Grand Slam final

They played the other semi-final, the one that attracted the least attention at Roland Garros, but Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and Germany’s Alexander Zverev delivered five sets and two hours and 47 minutes of tennis. Also nervous, especially in the Greek, who led the match 2-0 and had to wait for the fifth set to take the win, after his fifth match point, and get into his first Grand Slam final.

They opened the dance on Friday at the Paris central, before the world no. 1 jumped into the ring against the 3. The duel, which was played at the Phillippe Chatrier, started with a headwind for Tsitsipas, who broke on Zverev’s serve quickly and pulled out a light advantage in the opening set that allowed him to close the set 6-3 in just 39 minutes.

The Greek was very solid and took advantage of the fact that the German was slow to enter the match beyond that they committed the same amount of unforced errors (11). The issue is that Tsitsipas showed much more solvency in the rallies, especially with his deep backhand that made Zverev hesitate. A curiosity: the Athens native managed just one winning shot and it was with his serve.

In the second chapter the one who started best was Zverev, who broke Tsitsipas and went 3-0 up. However, the Greek reacted quickly and not only evened the score, but showed all his character and broke the German’s serve again on two other occasions to go in front and win the set by another 6-3 in another 40 minutes.

But Zverev battled in the third set and had a prize. He broke in the first chance he had and pulled away quickly on the scoreboard (3-1) to lead or succeed 6-4 in 49 minutes and take a set off Tsitsipas, but not before starring in a strong fight with the umpire when the Greek took out 3-5.

With the set win, the world number 6 again took the Greek’s serve just in the first game and established a new distance that he knew how to maintain. With quick games and safety from both on serve, Zverev gave Tsitsipas no chance to recover, winning it 6-4 and confirming that the match would close out in the fifth.

Too young

Between the two, they are no more than 46, so they will play the youngest semi-final in Paris since the one between Nadal and Djokovic in 2008.

The Greek and German had never met in a Grand Slam tournament, although both have been knocking on the door of glory for some time now. More Zverev, although Tsitsipas comes with an extra push this season that led to Swede Mats Wilander being considered the favourite, even above Nadal.

Not surprisingly, Tsitsipas is the tennis player with the most wins on brick dust this year, 21, against just three defeats. Along the way, the Monte-Carlo tournament, his first Masters 1000, in addition to the ATP Lyon.

Tsitsipas, the seducer

The 22-year-old, ranked No. 5, doesn’t seem intimidated by the magnitude of the event. Against Zverev he will play his third Grand Slam semi-final, his second in a row in Paris, although he never made it past that stage in a major.

If successful, he would be the first Greek Grand Slam finalist and the youngest since Britain’s Andy Murray at the Australian Open in 2010.

At his age, Nadal had won his third crown in Paris, but since then no one has climbed to the last step so young.

Tsitsipas, a modern seducer who uses his figure as an icon on social media, is going through the season with more confidence than ever.

His record against Zverev is favorable, with five wins in seven matches, including the only match on slow courts, played in Madrid in 2019.

Zverev’s Great Leap

Precisely the victory in the Masters 1,000 this season raised the confidence of the German, who arrived in Paris in better condition than previous editions and who had never before surpassed the quarters on the French clay.

Zverev, ranked sixth in the 24-year-old, faces his third Grand Slam semi-final in search of his second final, having lost the 2020 U.S. Open.

Although he already has four Masters 1000 titles, in Grand Slam he never managed to defeat a top 10.

He is aiming to become the second German to reach the final in Paris, behind Michael Stich in 1996 and the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2011.

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