Stefanos Tsitsipas survives Taylor Fritz thriller to reach Australian Open Quarter-Finals

Jonathan Davies in Australian Open 24 Jan 2022
Tsitsipas prevailed in an epic clash with Fritz (Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM)

Stefanos Tsitsipas twice came from behind to overcome Taylor Fritz in an epic five-setter and progress to the Australian Open quarter-finals on Monday.

The fourth seed moved to within a victory of a third semi-final at Melbourne Park in four appearances after prevailing 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a thrilling encounter that lasted three hours and 23 minutes.

Having dropped sets against Sebastian Baez and Benoit Paire in the previous two rounds, Tsitsipas repeated the feat as he fell 2-1 behind against Fritz.

This was the 20th seed’s maiden appearance in the fourth round of a Slam, but he was taken to a deciding set as the French Open finalist clung on.

Just a single break was enough to determine the outcome of the previous four sets, and Tsitsipas crucially broke at 4-4 in the fifth.

The Greek needed no second invitation to capitalise as he held to set up a quarter-final showdown with Jannik Sinner.

The 11th seed ended the hopes of home favourite Alex de Minaur with a straight-sets victory to reach the last eight in Victoria for the first time.

With Sinner joining compatriot Matteo Berrettini in the quarters, it ends a 49-year wait for two Italian men to appear at that stage of a Slam since Adriano Panatta and Paolo Bertolucci at the 1973 French Open.

Second seed Daniil Medvedev overcame Maxime Cressy in four sets to book a date with Felix Auger-Aliassime, who is through to his third successive Slam quarter-final after defeating 2018 runner-up Marin Cilic by the same scoreline.

Over in the Ladies’ draw, world number 115 Kaia Kanepi stunned second seed Aryna Sabalenka after prevailing in a tie-break 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(7).

Despite seeing four match points go begging, the 36-year-old held her nerve to reach a maiden Australian Open quarter-final – 15 years after her main-draw debut – and first in a Slam since the 2017 US Open.

The Estonian’s reward is a clash with seventh seed Iga Swiatek, who will also appear in the last eight here for the first time. Despite losing her first set of the tournament, the former Roland Garros winner defeated Sorana Cirstea 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Meanwhile, Alize Cornet reached her maiden Slam quarter-final at the 63rd attempt after coming from behind to beat Simona Halep 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

The first Frenchwoman to reach this stage of the Australian Open since 2009, Cornet will play Danielle Collins after the 27th seed overturned a one-set deficit to see off Elise Mertens.

WATCH THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

Australian Open 2022 Day Eight Results

Monday January 24

Fourth Round

Rod Laver Arena
Danielle Collins 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 Elise Mertens
Simona Halep 4-6, 6-3, 4-6 Alize Cornet
Alex de Minaur 6-7(3), 4-6, 3-6 Jannik Sinner
Taylor Fritz 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 Stefanos Tsitsipas

Margaret Court Arena
Maxime Cressy 2-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 5-7 Daniil Medvedev
Iga Swiatek 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 Sorana Cirstea
Kaia Kanepi 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(7) Aryna Sabalenka

John Cain Arena
Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(7), 2-6, 6-7(4) Felix Auger-Aliassime

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