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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday January 25, 2022

 
Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas dominated Jannik Sinner on Tuesday, defeating the Italian in three sets to reach the semis at the Australian Open.

Photo Source: Getty

Stefanos Tsitsipas played a near perfect match to remain a perfect 5-0 in Grand Slam quarterfinals, taking out Jannik Sinner of Italy, the No.11 seed, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Tennis Express

Slamming serves as fast as 134 MPH, and striking with considerable pop off of both wings, Tsitsipas owned the court and kept Sinner on his back foot for most of the two hour and six minute contest. The Greek improves to 3-1 lifetime against the talented 20-year-old, and will face either Daniil Medvedev or Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semifinals on Friday.

"I think he played better than me today," Sinner said of the contest. "He served better. He moved the ball better than me. He was moving better than me. It's tough to play against him when especially he plays like this. I couldn't generate the power what I would have wanted. I was trying to move him, but I was maybe a little bit too far back because he played incredible today. So I think that's it."

Tsitsipas never faced a break point and converted each of the four break point opportunities that he earned against Sinner. He struck 30 winners against 28 unforced errors, while Sinner hit 18 winners and 22 unforced.

"I was really fired up myself to bring the best out of my game today, and I tried to get my level as high as possible, because I knew that I need to form that kind of standard from early on," Tsitsipas said.

It was a reminder of how lethal the streamlined, aggressive game of the Greek can be when it clicks on all cylinders. There was not a lot that Sinner could do to stop the all-out assault that Tsitsipas put forth.

The Elbow is Coming Along Nicely

The 23-year-old's scintillating form this early in the season does come as a surprise.

The Greek entered this tournament surrounded in doubt due to the fact that he had undergone a minor procedure to repair his right elbow in November, and – as of early January – still hadn’t made a full recovery. He struggled with pain at the ATP Cup in the first week of January during a loss to Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.

“I'm in a little bit of pain,” he said on January 3rd. “That's normal. I served more serves than I have ever served at the last one month. I served not even – near 180 serves today I think. I have been practicing, trying to get 50, 60 serves in, and today I really went far.”

Two nights ago, after his five-set win over Taylor Fritz, Tsitsipas hinted that the pain is a distant memory.

“I haven't really been thinking of too much, honestly,” he said. “I was too concentrated on getting back to 100% again after my elbow surgery. I honestly don't know what I was thinking. I knew that Australia was coming soon and I would have to be playing again very soon.

“I missed two weeks of preseason, which was not too bad, because the doctor predicted otherwise. My recovery was faster than anyone would have thought it would have been. My recovery was very surprising to my doctor.”

Judging from the Greek’s performance against Sinner, he may have more pop in that right arm than he has had in years.

He will need it if he hopes to progress to his first Australian Open final, as he could face No.2-seeded Medvedev, the player that shut him down in the semifinals in Melbourne last year, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.

“Everyone saw what just happened out there,” Tsitsipas, who owns a 2-6 lifetime record against Medvedev, said, after the loss. “I'm the last person you should be asking this. I was just focused on my game, and he put out his show. He became Daniil Medvedev for three sets in a row.”

The Greek’s odds will increase considerably if Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Medvedev on Wednesday night in Melbourne. He owns a 5-2 lifetime record against the Canadian, which includes five straight wins.

 

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