Tsitsipas outlasts Zverev in five-set thriller to enter maiden French Open final
- French Open 2021: Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 in the semi-final.
Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the first grand slam final of his career after labouring his way past a determined Alexander Zverev in the first men's semi-final of the French Open.
Tsitsipas looked set for an easy win after he won the first two sets by the identical margin of 6-3. But Zverev, who had till then looked woefully out of form, turned the tables and levelled the match by taking the next two sets 6-4, 6-4.
With the match entering the decider, Tsitsipas changed his kit and started afresh. He saved three break points in the first game of the final set to hold his serve and then went on to break the German to take a crucial lead in the decider and eventually closed the set 6-3.
Tsitsipas, who had reached the semi-final at Roland Garros last year too, managed to surpass himself this year.
He will take on the winner of the match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the final.
Tsitsipas will be the first player from Greece in a Grand Slam singles final and youngest man to appear in the title match at the French Open since Nadal won the 2008 championship five days after his 22nd birthday.
And this is not some out-of-nowhere ascension. Tsitsipas has been building toward this over the past couple of seasons, reaching three major semifinals in a row and leading the ATP in total match wins (39 now) and clay-court wins (22) in 2021.
Three of his seven career tour-level titles came on clay, including a pair this year — at the Monte Carlo Masters and Lyon.
Zverev’s loss makes him 0-10 against members of the Top 10 at Grand Slam tournaments, an especially confounding statistic when viewed in contrast to his 31-30 mark against such opponents in any other setting.
(With AP inputs)