Some two and a half hours after securing the place at the ATP Finals for the first time, Stefanos Tsitsipas dethroned Shanghai champion Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and two minutes. Stefanos is through to the fourth Masters 1000 semi-final, playing on a high level since the middle of the opening set and taking 820 points out from Novak's tally in the year-end no.
1 battle with Rafael Nadal that should be determined in Paris and London. It was the second win for Tsitsipas over Djokovic in three matches, earning it after facing only one break point and controlling the pace in sets two and three to leave the world's leading player behind in one of the best matches of the season in terms of quality.
The Greek fired 34 winners and 22 unforced errors while the Serb stood on a 28-26 ratio, taking just two points less than his younger opponent but not doing enough to cross the finish line first and stay on the title course.
Stefanos had the advantage in the shortest and mid-range, going for his shots and matching Novak's performance to emerge at the top and set the semi-final clash with Daniil Medvedev. Both players lost only six points behind the initial stroke in the first set, with Novak earning a break in game two when Stefanos sprayed a backhand error, opening a 3-0 advantage in seven minutes!
That would be the only break chance that Stefanos offered to him in the entire encounter, wasting the opportunity in game seven and preparing everything for the second set after Djokovic claimed the first with a service winner at 5-3.
The Greek lost nine points in six service games in set number two, taming his shots nicely and keeping the pressure on Novak whom he broke in the 12th game when the Serb sprayed a forehand long, sending the clash into a decider and gathering the momentum ahead of another great set he played.
Once again, Novak stayed away from break point and couldn't hold serve until the tie break, suffering a break in the fourth game following a forehand error, drifting further and further away from the finish line. Standing strong in his games, Tsitsipas sealed the deal with a smash winner at 5-3, celebrating one of his most notable wins and advancing into the last four.