Rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas admits he has surprised himself a bit with the quality of his performances at Melbourne Park and the way he has reproduced them in each round. The 20-year-old continued his Australian Open success this Tuesday when he beat No.
22 seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (2) to reach his first-ever Grand Slam semi-final. The 14th-seeded Greek previously beat Matteo Berrettini, Viktor Troicki, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Roger Federer. "A little bit, yeah.
You have a bigger picture of your opponent when he's going to come out. You think he's going to do some extraordinary things. But Roberto was playing great today. He showed some good tennis the entire week," Tsitsipas said after beating Bautista Agut.
"But at the end it's completely different of what I can picture it before going on the court, how you can imagine how your opponent is going to play. "What I realised recently, your opponent feels the exact same thing you feel.
It's a pretty balanced match. The difference is who is going to press more and be more aggressive than the other. "But I did surprise a little bit myself with my performance, yeah." Tsitsipas grew up idolizing record 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer.
When asked to take us through what happened after his win over Federer, Tsitsipas said: "It was really tough. (The) first night was tough to process. In the beginning (it) was tough to fall asleep, to be honest with you.
I had a pain in my toe which kept me awake. In general, I felt a bit of pain in my body and tension. Yeah, (the) first night was tough. Slept less than six hours. (I) was worried about my next match, if I'm going to be able to get some good sleep the day before."
The Greek admitted to being worried how he would perform against Bautista Agut after the win over Federer as he was eager to showcase another top class performance. "Yeah, I did want to concentrate on my next match.
I knew that win against Federer was important, played a huge role in my image, like who I am. But I knew that the biggest challenge was today's match, that I can prove myself once again," Tsitsipas claimed. World No.
15 Tsitsipas has fulfilled his goal of making a maiden Grand Slam semi-final this year but his hunger for success doesn't end there as he wants more now. "That's the first step (making a Grand Slam semi-final).
That's from where you start, then you move on. I'm happy that I reached my goal. But that's like the starting point to go deeper. That's like the minimum, I would call it," Tsitsipas acknowledged. Tsitsipas is set to clash next against No.
2 seed Rafael Nadal. Nadal leads the head-to-head 2-0 as he beat the Greek last year in the Barcelona final and Toronto Masters final respectively. "Nadal, I played him once, once on clay, once hard court. I felt very close of beating him in Toronto, though the score was 6-2, 7-6.
I remember coming back to the locker room and promising to myself I'm going to do much better against him next time. It felt like I understood a bit better what he was doing on the court after that match, and especially on (a) hard court," Tsitsipas said ahead of the match.
"On clay, it was a different story. I felt like I had no chance after losing in Barcelona 6-1, 6-2. I felt like he's on completely another level on clay than on hard." Also read: Vasek Pospisil undergoes successful surgical microdisectomy