French Open: Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Daniil Medvedev in grudge match to set up Alexander Zverev semi-final

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame rival Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to set up a French Open semi-final clash with Alexander Zverev.

The contest had been billed as a grudge match and proved a battling affair as Tsitsipas beat the world no2 6-3 7-6 (3) 7-5.

The Greek fifth seed had settled quickly on the empty Philippe Chatrier, with spectators still not able to attend the late match because of a curfew under coronavirus restrictions, and took the opening set in 31 minutes.

After trailing 3-1 in the second, Medvedev recovered composure to level at 3-3, but failed to take two set-point chances in the 10th game. Tsitsipas then took control of the tie-break, claiming a mini-break on the first point before a double hold to move 3-0 ahead.

Medvedev returned to court following a toilet break changed into an all-white kit, and responded with fresh energy to break Tsitsipas in the fifth game - only for the world number five to break back then lead 5-4.

The Russian then had a heated exchange with the chair umpire over a first serve he felt was disturbed by a cameraman up in the stands, before holding at 5-5.

Tsitsipas battled on and forced a first match-point chance, which he took after Medvedev, who had been 40-love up, tried an underhand serve and the Greek dispatched with a backhand down the line to claim a hard-earned win.

Earlier, Zverev had breezed into his first French Open semi-final by thumping Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4 6-1 6-1.

Sixth seed Zverev, the first German to reach the last four at Roland Garros since Michael Stich in 1996, was simply too good for the world No. 46, who managed to hold serve only three times in his first appearance on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Zverev, who will face either Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia, believes he is slowly coming of age, having reached the last four of a Grand Slam for the third time in his last five majors.

“Before, maybe the last few years, I was putting too much pressure on myself. Also obviously in the media I was seen, before Medvedev and Tsitsipas arrived, as this guy that was going to all of a sudden take over the tennis world,” the 24-year-old told a news conference.

“I was putting pressure on myself as well. I was not very patient with myself, which I feel like now maybe I learned how to deal with the situation a little bit better, I’m maybe a little bit calmer at the tournaments.

Additional reporting by PA and Reuters.

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