Roland Garros | Tsitsipas ticks another box, in maiden final

Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova celebrates winning her semi final match against Greece's Maria Sakkari.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam final on Friday when he defeated Germany's Alexander Zverev in a bruising five-setter at Roland-Garros.

Tsitsipas got an early break in the opening set, aided by two double faults from Zverev, and remained solid against the German's heavy groundstrokes to hold onto his narrow advantage on a sun-bathed Philippe Chatrier court.

U.S. Open finalist Zverev built a 3-0 lead at the start of the second set but Tsitsipas showed exemplary athleticism and staunch defence to win the next six games, leaving Zverev staring at his coaching team bewildered.

The sixth-seeded German, however, regrouped and added more power to his shots with early breaks in the third and fourth sets enough for him to level the match at two sets apiece. Tsitsipas needed to change his game in the decider and the 22-year-old managed to find an extra gear to seal the contest on his fifth match point and booked a final outing.

Barbora Krejcikova will play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in women’s final after the Czech World No. 33 saved a match point to defeat Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 on Thursday.

Krejcikova, 25, is the fourth unseeded women’s finalist in five years at Roland Garros. She won the doubles title here in 2018 but her best previous result in singles was a run to the fourth round last year. It will be the sixth successive French Open to crown a first-time women’s major champion.

“I always wanted to play a match like this, when I was younger, playing juniors, I always wanted to play such a challenging match where we both had chances and were playing so well,” said Krejcikova.

Women’s final at 6.30 p.m. IST.

Maiden Grand Slam singles final for Tsitsipas. He had lost all three of his previous semifinals (Aus Open 2019 & 2021, French Open 2020)

Tsitsipas' fifth win in nine five-set matches in his career

Tsitsipas' fourth win over a top-10 player at a Major in nine attempts. Three of those have come this year (Nadal at Aus Open, Medvedev and Zverev at French Open)

Only Zverev's second loss in his last 10 five-setters. Previous: to Thiem in the 2020 US Open final

Zverev has now lost all 10 of his matches against top-10 players at the Grand Slam level

Nadal was leading 5-3 in the first set at the time of going to the press

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 2:29:29 PM |

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