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Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during his quarterfinal against Italy’s Jannik Sinner. Picture: REUTERS/MORGAN SETTE
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during his quarterfinal against Italy’s Jannik Sinner. Picture: REUTERS/MORGAN SETTE

Top seed Daniil Medvedev battled back from two sets down and saved a match point against Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the Australian Open semifinals with a 6-7(4) 3-6 7-6(2) 7-5 6-4 victory on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Russian had his back firmly up against the wall for much of an absorbing contest as Auger-Aliassime produced some stunning tennis at the Rod Laver Arena.

But he simply refused to lie down as he overturned a two-set deficit for only the second time in his career to set up a Friday semifinal against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Meanwhile, after a phenomenal performance against Jannik Sinner on Wednesday, Tsitsipas feels as though he is in the zone to produce something special at the Open.

The fourth seed credited his 6-3 6-4 6-2 defeat of the Italian in just more than two hours at the Rod Laver Arena to adopting a more humble approach to tennis after some setbacks.

Injuries, including the elbow problem that threatened his participation in Melbourne this year, and difficult defeats had taught him the importance of remaining grounded.

“You know when you’re dancing and when you’re doing well, you tend to glorify yourself, as if you are untouchable,” he said.

“It is important, in that process, to remain on the ground and to remind yourself that you are a human being who is aiming for something great, and you’re headed towards that direction and you’re doing everything possible to achieve that greatness.

Rival helpless

“Perfection doesn’t exist, but close to perfection [does], and that’s what I meant by that,” Tsitsipas said.

His tennis in the quarterfinal was not perfect, but he did manage to leave a rival tipped to be a future Grand Slam winner helpless at times.

Tsitsipas is hoping it will be third time lucky for him in an Australian Open semifinal.

After defeating Roger Federer on the way to a semifinal in 2019, he found Rafa Nadal too strong.

In February 2021, he defeated Nadal in the quarterfinals after dropping the first two sets, but was beaten by Medvedev in his next match.

After becoming the first Greek to reach the final of a Grand Slam at Roland Garros, where he fell to Novak Djokovic, Tsitsipas struggled for his best form for the remainder of 2021.

French Open winner Iga Swiatek managed to temper her frustrations and rally from a set and a break down in brutal heat to overpower Estonian Kaia Kanepi 4-6 7-6(2) 6-3 to reach her first Australian Open semifinal.

Wasted chances

Poland’s Swiatek will next meet 27th-seeded American Danielle Collins, who earlier defeated Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 7-5 6-1, for a place in Saturday’s final.

In their first career meeting, Swiatek wasted breakpoint chances in each of Kanepi’s first three service games and it was the Estonian who converted her first chance in the seventh game to nose ahead.

Swiatek saved four set points in the ninth game that lasted 16 minutes but could not stop Kanepi from taking the opener on her ninth opportunity after another lengthy game.

Collins ended Cornet’s dream run on Wednesday, reaching her second semifinal at Melbourne Park, three years after her first.

She is the second American into the last four, with Madison Keys to play top seed Ash Barty on Thursday. 



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