The 12th seed Taylor Fritz is through to his first Australian Open quarter-final, arranging the clash against world no. 1 Novak Djokovic. Taylor took down last year’s finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and one minute, notching his third Major quarter-final and the second in a row.
Also, the American celebrated his first top-10 victory at a Major, losing the opening 11 duels against the rivals from the top. Fritz produced a rock-solid performance, improving his defense and moving nicely. Fritz served at 70% and made the difference with his first serve.
The American fired 50 winners and 19 unforced errors, taming his strokes beautifully and leaving the rival behind. Taylor lost serve two times, and Stefanos needed more to stay competitive. The Greek struggled behind the second serve and hit the exit door despite hitting 41 winners and 33 unforced errors.
He offered his rival 11 break chances, losing serve four times in sets three and four and coming to the verge of dropping out from the top-10. They stayed neck and neck in the mid-range and and most advanced rallies. Fritz built the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes thanks to a huge number of service winners.
Stefanos defended two break points in the encounter’s first game, avoiding an early setback. The Greek held with a service winner and created two break chances in game two after drawing the American’s mistake. Fritz denied them with service winners and painted a backhand down the line winner to wrap up the game in style.
Last year’s finalist closed the third game with an ace down the T line, and the 12th seed followed that pace with an ace in the next one, locking the result at 2-2. Stefanos held at 30 in game five, and Taylor responded with another powerful serve a few minutes later for 3-3.
The Greek moved 4-3 up with an unreturned serve, and the American repeated that in the next one, as they stayed neck and neck. The games were moving on fast, and Tsitsipas opened a 5-4 lead with a service winner in game nine.
Fritz served to stay in the set in game ten and showed no sign of nerves, bringing it home at love and extending the battle.
Stefanos grabbed another lead with a forehand winner game 11, keeping the pressure on the other side. Taylor answered with an ace in game 12, introducing a tie break. The American claimed all five points behind the initial shot, and the Greek could not follow that.
Tsitsipas netted a routine forehand in the fourth point, falling behind and finding himself 5-2 down after Fritz’s forehand winner in the seventh point. Taylor painted another forehand winner in the tenth point, clinching the breaker 7-3 and moving in front after 50 minutes.
They needed just over half an hour to wrap up ten games in the second set, with both serving well and keeping the returners without any chance. Fritz delivered another service winner in the opening game, and Tsitsipas leveled the score at 1-1 with a winner at the net.
An ace sent Taylor 2-1 up, and Stefanos repeated that in game four.
Taylor Fritz fired 50 winners against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open.
Serving one booming serve after another, Fritz gained a 3-2 advantage before his rival caused a forced mistake in game six for 3-3.
The American held for 4-3 and closed the ninth game with a service winner, keeping the pressure on the other side. Tsitsipas notched the tenth game from 15-30 and pushed hard on the return in the next one. Stefanos attacked with his forehand and created two break points, the first since the encounter’s opening stage.
The American sprayed a careless volley error on the first, falling 6-5 behind and allowing his rival to serve for the set. The Greek landed two winners at 0-30 in the 12th game before the 12th seed earned a break chance with a backhand down the line winner.
Tsitsipas denied it with a service winner and held with another, leveling the overall score at 1-1 after an hour and 35 minutes. Taylor’s first break of serve came in the second set’s second game after Stefanos’ loose forehand.
Tsitsipas stayed focused and broke back in game three, producing his second successful return game from the previous three and returning to the positive side. The Greek erased two break points in the fourth game with service winners and held for 2-2.
The servers lost the ground a bit in those moments, and Fritz closed the fifth game after deuce. Tsitsipas squandered game points at 2-3 and lost serve after Fritz’s backhand down the line return winner. Taylor cemented the lead with a hold at love in game seven after an ace and served for the set at 5-3.
The American landed a perfect drop shot winner at 40-15, wrapping up the set and building the advantage after two hours and 17 minutes.
Two rivals served great in the opening six games of the fourth set, standing locked up at 3-3 in no time.
However, Tsitsipas faced issues behind the initial shot in game seven, missing a routine volley at the net and facing a break point. Fritz attacked with a drop shot and landed a volley winner at the net, securing a crucial break and opening a 4-3 advantage.
The American cracked a backhand down the line winner in the eighth game, holding in style and sending the pressure to the other side. Taylor captured his second straight break in game nine with a backhand winner, wrapping up an impressive victory and arranging the clash against world no. 1 Novak Djokovic.