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“I have proven that I have the level”

Heavily eliminated by Daniil Medvedev (RUS, n ° 4) this Friday morning (6-4, 6-2, 7-5), Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE, n ° 5) failed for the third time in his career at the gates of the final, against a member of the Top 5. If his tournament remains good in Australia with his incredible victory against Rafael Nadal in the previous round, his progress raises questions in the last moments in Grand Slam.

There was the Australian Open in 2019, Roland-Garros in 2020 and therefore again, the Australian Open in 2021. Three semi-finals for Stefanos Tsitsipas (world No. 6) against members of the Top 5, in order of appearance, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev, all lost. After the slap in Melbourne two years ago against the Spaniard in three sets (6-2, 6-4, 6-0), the Greek elbowed in Paris against the Serbian but had liquefied in the fifth set (6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1). In 2021, the No. 5 seed in the Australian Grand Slam gave the impression that he needed two sets against him, to fully get into the game. Against Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, Stefanos Tsitsipas got “angry” in the third round to finally win the tiebreak and the following two sets. This late start, which can be of mental origin, costs him an additional debauch of energy which he then pays.

Two days after his 4:05 marathon against the Spaniard, the same scenario happened against Daniil Medvedev. In a press conference after the semi-final, the Greek did not hide his face: “I do not know what to say. Finally, you saw what happened on the court… He ticks almost all the boxes. He reads the game wonderfully. His service is enormous. […] He’s also very strong from the baseline, which makes everything very complicated. Even if you return his serve, that is absolutely no guarantee of winning the point. It really takes a lot of effort. It makes the game difficult for you. He’s confusing you. He plays very smart. “

Another step to take …

With seven titles in his wallet including the London Masters acquired in 2019, the Greek knows that his time will come. Well surrounded, with the support of Patrick Mouratoglou, the world n ° 6 has the weapons to play the disruptors of the circuit like a Thiem (winner of the US Open 2020), a Zverev or a Medvedev. With great serve and a great one-handed backhand, Stefanos Tsitsipas has proven he has the mental resources to reverse a game, it remains to be seen whether he has them to advance to a Major final. .

Asked this Friday about the ingredient that he lacked to succeed in this performance, here is his answer: “Win ​​a semi-final… I don’t know. It’s terrible, getting so close to the goal… Everyone dreams of winning a Grand Slam. You don’t necessarily think about it at the start of the tournament, but the closer you get to the final, the more you are overwhelmed by different emotions. Our dreams and aspirations are so close to coming true. To me, getting to this level means so much. It’s complicated to play a semi-final in a Grand Slam. I need to find a way to keep that same mindset once I’m at that level of a Major. I have proven that I have the level to beat the best. I hope the result will be different next time. I really hope so. »Answer in the coming months.