Stefanos Tsitsipas said he didn't feel that he came close to hitting a ball kid during his Australian Open quarterfinal match but noted that what he did wasn't right. In the seventh game of the third set against Jiri Lehecka, Tsitsipas hit the ball in a moment of frustration.
At that exact moment, a ball kid was moving toward where Tsitsipas smashed the ball. Fortunately for Tsitsipas and the ball kid, the ball just hit the back of the court.
Had Tsitsipas hit the ball kid, he would have been almost certainly been defaulted. “I saw the ball kid when the ball came back.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is cruising, but he risked a default at 4-3 in the third set as he came this close to hitting a ball kid with a ball out of frustration...
I'm a professional tennis player. I was not aiming for the ball kid obviously. I saw the wall, just went back towards the wall. The ball kid, in my eyes, was pretty far away from me. Would have really had to miss to hit that ball kid.
What I did, definitely I'm not happy about that. I shouldn't have done it. But it was part of the moment. My ball fell short,"Tsitsipas said after the match, per tennis.com.
Jim Courier felt Tsitsipas 'got really lucky'
“Tsitsipas just got really lucky.
He swings at anger and it nearly hits the ball kid. And if it does, he’s shaking hands a loser in this match. You cannot do that. You have to be careful. That was dangerous," Courier said on air during his match commentary.
In the end, Tsitsipas defeated Lehecka 6-3 7-6 (2) 6-4 to progress into the Australian Open semifinal. In the semifinal, Tsitsipas will be taking on Karen Khachanov, who progressed following a mid-match retirement from Sebastian Korda.
Tsitsipas own a 5-0 head-to-head record against Khachanov and he is the favorite to beat the Russian again. But also, Tsitsipas owns a 0-3 record in Australian Open semifinals. It remains to be seen if Tsitsipas can finally make a big Australian Open breakthrough.