Stefanos Tsitsipas will compete in his first Major final at Roland Garros following a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 triumph over Alexander Zverev in three hours and 37 minutes! The Greek pushed Novak Djokovic to five sets a year ago, and he will now fight for the title against Rafael Nadal or Djokovic, who will step on the court in the second semis.
It was a match full of ups and downs, as was expected at this stage of the tournament, and the Greek prevailed with five breaks on his tally, getting broken only thrice and forging the crucial advantage. They both had more unforced errors than winners, although they raised the level from the third set to make it an enjoyable encounter that went down to the wire.
Suffering his first five-setter loss (1-7) at Roland Garros, Zverev dug deep to get back into contention in sets three and four before wasting three break chances at the beginning of the decider. Tsitsipas took advantage of that and grabbed a crucial break at 2-1 that carried him home on his fifth match point at 5-4.
Tsitsipas claimed the opening set, although it was a close one. The Greek barely hit a winner in nine games, and he still avoided troubles in his games. On the other hand, Zverev won more return points than his rival (ten to eight), which wasn't enough for a better result after getting broken right at the start.
Stefanos held in the opening game when Alexander sprayed a volley error at the net and grabbed a break in the next one when the German sent a forehand wide to build an early advantage. Serving at 5-3, Tsitsipas held after deuce to take the opener after 37 minutes and gather momentum ahead of set number two.
Stefanos Tsitsipas ousted Alexander Zverev in five sets in Paris.
Zverev grabbed his first break in set number two, but his serving experience only went backward, struggling on both the first and second serve and getting broken thrice to fall two sets to love behind!
Zverev held at love with a volley winner in the opening game and secured his first break when Tsitsipas sent a forehand long in the next one. From 3-0 down, the Greek shifted into a higher gear and rattled off six straight games to turn the tables and forge a massive advantage ahead of the third set.
Stefanos stole the opponent's serve in games five, seven and nine, closing the set when Zverev sprayed another forehand mistake at 5-3. With no room for errors, Alexander started to play better in the third set, defending the second serve nicely and facing only one break point.
Zverev moved in front with a break at 1-1 and saved a break chance at 3-2 to remain in front. The three-time Masters 1000 champion held at love in game ten to clinch the set and stay in contention. Carried by this boost, Zverev lost only four points behind the initial shot in the fourth set, keeping the pressure on the other side and earning a break in the opening game for an early advantage.
Both players served well after that, and Alexander fired a service winner at 5-4 to bring the set home and force a decider. In one of the pivotal moments, Stefanos fended off three break chances in the final set's opening game to gain a massive boost that he converted into a break in the fourth game and a 3-1 advantage.
The Greek served well in games five and seven, and the German passed the ultimate challenge at 2-5 when he saved four match points. Remaining calm, Stefanos sealed the deal on his serve a few minutes later to advance into the first Major final.