Fearless Greek 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas met and took down his idol Roger Federer at the Australian Open in what might have been the most compelling game of the tournament. The game was long, hard and drawn out with many heart-stopping moments resulting in a final win for Tsitsipas at 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6.
“You’re watching the changing of the guard!” said veteran tennis champ John McEnroe.
“I am the happiest man alive!” Tsitsipas said. “I didn’t lose my patience. That was the key.”
He also attributed much of his success to the support of the crowd and the energy he felt. “I haven’t seen such a loud crowd in my life. This is something that I was dreaming as a kid.”
An amazing game
Tsitsipas started the tie-break by taking the first two points, but a backhand from the Greek missed its mark. The game was head-to-head but Federer took the first set at 6-7.
By the second set it was clear that the game was not going to be a quick match as both players were in good form, and appeared to know each other’s weaknesses making for a compelling game with plenty of heart-stopping moments. The second set went from tie-breaker to tie-breaker in a battle of wits with the Tsitsipas taking the set at 7-6.
With one set apiece Tsitsipas scored the first point, but Federer evened the score at 1-1. From back-hand to back-hand the Greek gun compared to Rafael Nadal took the second point with unabated energy. At this point, Federer began to lose some of his drive. And Tsitsipas showed drive, grit and confidence to take the third set at 3-2 but it didn’t take Federer long to even the score. In a lengthy, drawn out game Tsitsipas took the game at 4-3. The high-intensity game continued 2 hours and 39 minutes into the game with an evening out by Federer at 4-4, frustrating Tsitsipas hopes of taking the set. However he rebounded and took away the set at 7-5.
Point by point, the two men battled with each other in the fourth set. Tsitsipas called for the trainer due to a leg issue. Despite Federer’s excitement that his opponent may have weakened, Tsitsipas came back after a quick leg massage to take 5-4 before Federer came back to even the score. At 6-6, it all came down to another time-break with Tsitsipas getting the first break before Federer rose to the occasion before Tsitsipas clipped him back with a magnificent first serve. He took the game at 7-6!
A star is born!