“I’m the happiest man on earth right now.
“I agree with you (that I looked like I could win the match). You have to believe in your self. Roger is a legend in the sport, I have so much respect for him. He’s showed great tennis over the years. I’ve analysed him since the age of six. It was an honour to be facing him. I cannot describe it.
“I was too slow (in opening service game), but I wanted to take my time but sometimes the referee reminds you you have to be on time.
On saving break points:
“It’s important to have aggressive mindset and play percentage tennis, have first serves in and press from the beginning. I didn’t lose my patience. That was key to saving the break points. I showed great determined and had most of you guys (crowd) supporting me.
“I haven’t seen such a loud crowd in my whole entire life. The atmosphere, the vibes you gave to me was indescribable.
“I like this aggressive style of play, coming to the net, it makes things much more interesting.”
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 6-7 Tsitsipas TIEBREAK
Great start from Tsitsipas on his serve (1-0) as Mirka looks on intensely. Fed sprays another forehand long, well long and Tsitsipas has a mini-break and a 2-0 lead.
Federer gets on the board with a big first serve (2-1) but then levels with a cracking forehand winner which has Tsitsipas slipping on the baseline (2-2).
Tsitsipas powers down a big first serve down the T (3-2) but he can’t get up and under his next forehand and we’re level at the changeover (3-3).
Tsitsipas sets off early to make a Fed drop shot but his adrenaline-loaded reply is too long. We stay on serve (3-4). Crucial hold from Tsitsipas (4-4) but the Greek youngster does well to turn defence into attack to put the heat on Fed (5-4). He’s two points away from victory again.
Fed’s response? An ace down the T (5-5). Confusion now as a ball is called out. Who called it? It was Fed’s return and the ball was indeed long. The line call was right. Match point Tsitsipas now (6-5) and on his own serve.
He’s done it!! Fed dumps a return into the net. Tsitsipas is into the quarter-finals of a major for the first time. He holds his hand to his mouth in disbelief and then points at the crowd in thanks. Wow. GAME, SET AND MATCH: TSITSIPAS BEATS FEDERER 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 6-7 TO REACH QUARTER-FINALS
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 6-6 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Federer living a charmed life now and hanging tough at the net to win a crucial point for 30-15. But the nerves are starting to show as he loops a forehand into the tramlines. Tsitsipas has the more positive body language out there but Federer is digging deep. Fed moves to game point when Tsitsipas over-shoots a return and Fed takes it to a tiebreak. Can the big man force a fifth set?
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 5-6 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Federer gives his racket head a stern look after missing one groundstroke. Tsitsipas showing no signs of nerves as he holds to love again. Can he break Federer to win the set like last time?
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 5-5 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Solid opening from Federer for 30-0 before Tsitsipas lets rip with a backhand. Federer stays true to his game plan. We remain on serve this set.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 4-5 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Federer finally makes a pass on his backhand wing to make early inroads into Tsitsipas’ serve. A forehand from Tsitsipas zips off the surface but Federer keeps pushing for another break point and senses his chance at 30-all.
Tsitsipas pinpoints Federer’s backhand, forcing the great man on his back foot. Tsitsipas holds and he’s now a game away from an historic win.
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 4-4 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Tsitsipas seemed to suggest he was having issues with his left shoulder but then his trainer proceeds to give both of his thighs a quick rub down. Pat Cash is incredulous in the commentary box ‘that’s unbelievable. We want to see how someone can handle this issue’. A quick massage later and Tsitsipas is back ready to play. Fed opens with a strong first serve that delights his army of fans. He powers down another for two game points and he takes it on the first with an outswinging volley that lands flush on the line.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 3-4 Tsitsipas (*next server)
The trainer is on his way to see to Tsitsipas and treat a possible problem with his legs, but he has to get through his own service game first.
Boom. An ace steers him to 30-0 and a drop shot at an acute angle makes it three game points. Fed latches on a slower second serve to get on the board and then sends Tsitsipas out wide and unable to make a return. From a position of control, Federer is sneaking his way in. Tsitsipas soon closes the door with an ace. The trainer arrives on court.
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 3-3 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Chair umpire James Keothavong calls for Tsitsipas’ trainer. The Greek will be seen at the next change of ends. It’s not apparent what the issue is, he’s been moving freely and without issue seemingly.
Importantly for Federer he holds to love. He needed that.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 2-3 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Tsitsipas in the groove on his serve with a 16th ace this match. The Greek fails with another lob attempt and then Fed puts the youngster on his back foot for 30-all. Tsitsipas’ power and spin on his forehand proves too good again for Federer and he backs it up with some big serving.
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 2-2 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Federer’s unforced error count up to 45 now as Tsitsipas senses another opening at 15-30. A couple of first serves, the second of which he backs up with a brilliant volley which lands dead turns the game in his favour. But the errors keep coming and presenting Tsitsipas with hope. An ace out wide is just what the doctor ordered. He backs it up with a positive attitude in the next rally.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 1-2 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Tsitsipas winning plenty of fans with his positive approach and energetic performance. A fist pump engages with the supporters. At 30-0 he lifts a forehand into the middle and then retreats to the back of the court to have a mop down. Ace No 15 takes him to two game points. It’s another comfortable hold and the pressure remains on Fed.
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 1-1 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Three hours on the clock now but Federer’s indecision at the net costs him as he slips 15-30. Tsitsipas is a bundle of energy, challenging anything suspicious. He over-strikes an inside out forehand with Federer moving the opposite direction on the baseline. Federer gets over the line with a cracking drop shot which Tsitsipas can only loop long at the second attempt. Federer holds.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 5-7, 0-1 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Calm as you like, three aces from Tsitsipas ensure a hold to love. Plenty of noise now on Rod Laver and equally shared between the two. Fed hasn’t had it all his own way on and off the court.
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 5-7 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Pressure again on Fed’s serve as he sprays a forehand long for 15-30. He then drags another forehand wide. He challenges the call. The ball was out. Two break points and two set points for Tsitsipas. This time he makes the break after Federer dumps a return into the middle. TSITISIPAS BREAKS TO WIN THE THIRD SET.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 5-6 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Tsitsipas playing Federer at his own game now, rushing the big man and drawing a couple of forehand errors as he proceeds to three game points using the new balls. Tsitsipas matches Fed’s love-hold.
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 5-5 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Federer uses a couple of drop shots to unnerve Tsitsipas. It pays off. He holds to love. Mirka breathes a huge sigh of relief in Fed’s box.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 4-5 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Tremendous power from Tsitsipas. The Greek injects some pace and urgency into his play which catches Federer cold. Another lucky break for Fed off the tape but Tsitsipas remains in control on his service game. An ace moves him closer to the end game this third set.
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 4-4 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Ooh er. Pressure now on Federer’s serve at 0-30. A great pass from Tsitsipas allows the Greek youngster and his first break points of the match. Tsitsipas mishits a pass and presents Federer with an easy volley at the net. One break point is saved. A big serve down the middle proves too good and Tsitsipas’ chance has been and gone. That would’ve rattled Federer big time if the 20-year-old had made the first breakthrough. Federer digging deep now and wins four straight points to keep the set and match still without a break of serve.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 3-4 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Federer seemingly in the groove now, moving Tsitsipas to all corners and producing an overhead smash to steal an early march on the Greek’s serve. The 14th seed responds with his own meaty smash but then bats a volleyed return from Federer into the middle. He gently kicks the ball away in frustration. Brilliant from Federer as a sliced drop shot lands dead. Tsitsipas digs deep to get the ball back but Fed loops the reply into the open court. Two break points for Fed. Some slicing and dicing later sets up the rally but Federer then hits a wild forehand to miss his 11th opportunity to break. I stress ELEVEN!
He has another chance but Tsitsipas nails a return down the line. We’re at deuce and Federer still hasn’t broken after 12 chances. Three straight points from Tsitsipas with a backhand winner down the line. The crowd turn up the volume, there’s plenty of Greek fans on Rod Laver this evening. Federer equals a quite brilliant backhand cross court shot from Tsitsipas with his own backhand winner, reaching incredibly far and with precision to watch the ball land on the line. Tsitsipas bellows a mighty ‘let’s go’ as he flashes a forehand winner home for game point after a third deuce. Federer slaps into the net and Tsitsipas has hung tough again by saving two more break points!
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 3-3 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Sloppy now from Federer as he volleys into the tramlines and hands Tsitsipas a free point for 15-30. He closes the door and turns the game around, another controlled volley moving him 40-30 up. Clever play now and typically Federer with a kicked serve out wide opening the space to execute the winner. Experience told then.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 2-3 Tsitsipas (*next server)
The hand of apology goes up from Fed after a lucky net cord drop. Tsitsipas isn’t deterred, taking everything in his stride. Tsitsipas throws Fed off the scent with a backhand drop shot which the Swiss scampers to reach but he pushes the reply wide. Another steady hold.
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 2-2 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
The pair trade one-handed backhand before Tsitsipas switches to his forehand which unsettles Federer.
Trouble now for Fed at 30-all? No chance. He drills a first serve down the T. But wait, Tsitsipas strikes deep to draw an error from Fed for deuce. A serve-volley keeps Tsitsipas at bay and a backhand down the line gets the job done.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 1-2 Tsitsipas (*next server)
The ferocity of Tsitsipas’ serve continues to give Federer problems. The Swiss barely gets a look in this game. He edges in front again for the set and match.
Federer 7-6, 6-7, 1-1 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Solid play from Federer now, switching from defence to attack and advancing to the net to cut short plays where possible. Tsitsipas strikes a wild forehand as Federer motors to three game points. Tsitsipas steps back to deliver a second service return but fires long. Fed holds to 15.
Federer* 7-6, 6-7, 0-1 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Tsitsipas was given a let off that last set and isn’t about to waste that chance. Some brilliant serving keeps his foot on the gas. He holds to 30. Federer missed eight break points that last set and hasn’t taken any of his 10 chances this match.
Meanwhile, over on Margaret Court…
Remember, Andy Murray pushed Roberto Bautista Agut to five in the opening round.
Federer 7-6, 6-7 Tsitsipas TIEBREAK
Error from Federer on his forehand hands Tsitsipas a free point (0-1). Tsitsipas opens up a three-point advantage with back-to-back aces (0-3) but then loops a forehand wide (1-3).
Drama now as a line judge call a Federer groundstoke long but it’s over-ruled by the chair umpire. A deep stare from Federer later and the pair replay the point, Fed coming out on top for 3-2 and then makes a backhand winner down the line to reel in his opponent at 3-all at the changeover.
Tsitsipas draws an error from Fed’s forehand to edge back in front (3-4) and then opens up another lead by stepping in and firing a winner down the line (3-5).
And danger now for Fed as the Swiss pushes a volley long (3-6). Three set points for Tsitsipas now. He misses a first serve but wins a fourth straight point with a forehand into the corner. He levels the match. TSITSIPAS WINS TIEBREAK TO LEVEL MATCH.
Federer* 7-6, 6-6 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Just what the doctor ordered for Tsitsipas as he eases to three game points. He holds to love. He needed that. Tiebreak time.
Federer 7-6, 5-6 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
The Swiss dusts himself down after those missed chances, punching a volley into the corner. A wardrobe mulfunction now for Tsitsipas who has to change a his left trainer after a break of laces. His new foot wear help him out initially and then assist him as he hangs in the game at 40-30 with a slam dunked winner. He doesn’t get enough on a forehand and we look to be heading to another tiebreaker.
Federer* 7-6, 5-5 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Federer knocking on the door again this game as a couple of errors sees the pressure build on Tsitsipas. Crucially at 30-all, Federer forces Tsitsipas to play one more ball and the Greek blinks first pushing long. Set point now Federer. But boom. What a way to keep Fed at bay. Federer won’t go quietly. He’s all over the Greek and in a flash it’s another set point. But Tsitsipas switches the serve to save another. That’s eight break points missed by Fed now. Eight soon becomes nine which is highly unlike the big man. A flashing service return sets up a fourth chance this game alone. But Tsitsipas mobs up at the net with Fed almost hoping that his rival produces an error. Great resilience from Tsitsipas. A big serve down the T is backed up with a backhand error from Federer. Tsitsipas incredibly holds.
Federer 7-6, 5-4 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Unsurprisingly Federer steps up and rattles through another service game to you. Over to you again, Stefanos.
Federer* 7-6, 4-4 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Tsitsipas steps in but is all at sea as Federer flashes a forehand winner past him. Fed chases down a drop shot this game and pushes a backhand winner down the line. He has a chance here at 0-30. A big serve out wide is timely. A blistering forehand on the line is even better. Crucially he wins a third straight point to turn the game in his favour. A fantastic exchange between the pair ends in Fed’s favour and keeps the pressure on Tsitsipas at deuce. But just when the Greek is feeling the heat, he produces the goods again, sending Fed out wide with a second serve.
Big sigh of relief now from Tsitsipas as Fed misses a chance to pass but Tsitsipas continues to guard the net and shows great hands to punch a volley home for another game point. Fed has the rub of the green with a clip of the net cord but Tsitsipas is battling hard.
Federer keeps knocking on the door, edging to his fifth break point of the match. He hasn’t converted one as yet. And he’s still waiting after missing his chance to pass again. Five deuces later and when Federer dumps a backhand into the net, Tsitsipas finally holds. His last two service games have been energy-sapping.
Federer 7-6, 4-3 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Federer keeps the heat on Tsitsipas’ serve by firing through his own game, holding to love. He’s only dropped two points off his own serve this second set.
Federer* 7-6, 3-3 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Great exchange from the pair at the baseline with Tsitsipas pushing a forehand long for Fed to edge ahead off the Greek’s serve. Tsitsipas makes amends for that last error, stepping in to stroke home a super winner off the same flank. It blows cold again during the next point, dragging his groundstroke into the tramlines and then looks to his corner in bafflement. Fed has a look now at 30-40 when he passes Tsitsipas at the net. The big man had time to deliver his winner and didn’t miss his chance. Big moment here now. Some deep hitting from Fed, and he over-shoots a return and we’re at deuce. Another break point isn’t far away but Fed slaps a serve into the net. Tsitsipas having trouble closing out this game, though as his concentration levels take a sight dip. The game now over eight minutes long as Federer brings up break point No 3. But a great volley from Tsitsipas has Fed in two minds. Can I chase it down? His split second decision to halt his pursuit prevents him from reaching the ball. He’s annoyed with himself. Tsitsipas doesn’t open the door again. What a hold.
Federer 7-6, 3-2 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Commanding still from Federer. An out-swinging ace is backed up with an inside-out winner. He drills a forehand winner into the open court for a love-hold.
Meanwhile, over on Margaret Court Arena…
Federer* 7-6, 2-2 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Fed gets a free point off the Tsitsipas serve as a return clips the net but lands wide at 30-15. The Swiss still isn’t having much joy on a Tsitsipas first serve and when the Greek slam dunks a winner we remain without a break of serve this match.
Federer 7-6, 2-1 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Tsitsipas takes a point off Federer’s serve with a beautifully-timed backhand service return. Fed’s rushing the net at any opportunity and it’s unsettling Tsitsipas as the Greek gets caught in two minds as to his next move.
Federer* 7-6, 1-1 Tsitsipas (*next server)
Tsitsipas shows great athleticism and mobility, moving round the court and trying out new tactics. An impressive hold to love. Neither man has won a point on the other’s serve this set as yet.
Federer 7-6, 1-0 Tsitsipas* (*next server)
Calm and controlled from Federer as he races to a love hold after being made to wait a while for Tsitsipas to get the second set underway. The kid doesn’t mind about upsetting others.
Federer 7-6 Tsitsipas TIBREAK
Tsitsipas flings another sublime one-handed backhand winner cross court to get his nose in front (1-0). The Greek latches on to a a miscued forehand from Fed to fire a reply into the net-rushing master for a 2-0 lead before Fed gets on the board.
Tsitsipas misses a backhand down the line as adrenaline takes over as Federer draws level at 2-2, but an ace keeps the 14th seed’s confidence up (3-2). It’s three-all at the changeover as Tsitsipas can’t get a lob to land inside the line. A nice try.
Fed edges in front for the first time in the breaker with a big serve (3-4) before the Greek curls a forehand winner into the corner to restore parity (4-4).
Federer injects some pace on forehand that draws an error from Tsitsipas for (4-5). Tsitsipas has another word with the umpire. Unsure as to why. The umpire instructs the crowd to keep quiet during points. Fair enough. Tsitsipas won’t go quietly, he forces Fed to strike long now for five-all and it’s nip and tuck. A fantastic serve out wide brings Fed to set point (6-5). Tsitsipas saves it with positive play again, rushing the net and pushing a volley into the open court (6-6).
Federer skies a forehand as he steps in court, trying to strike the ball early and now Tsitsipas has a set point (7-6). A big first serve from Fed out wide makes it all square again (7-7).
Fed goes down the T this time to bring up his second set point. But it’s a big first serve from Tsitsipas (8-8) and then a forehand into the net from Fed which turns the momentum again (9-8).
Tsitsipas tries another lob on set point No 2 but it’s unsuccessful again and the pair exchange ends for a third time (9-9). A clever drop shot from Federer presents the big man with set point No 3 (9-10). Fed sets up the next rally beautifully but then fires wide when well set (10-10).
Tsitsipas delivers a timely first serve down the T for set point No 3 (11-10), but then strikes a second service return into the middle (11-11).
Fed swats away a volley for set point No 4 (11-12) but how much longer can both keep this up? Controversy again as a fan calls out when Tsitsipas strikes deep. The ball was good and the rally continues but it throws Tsitsipas and he drags his forehand into the tramlines. Federer takes the tiebreaker and the first set (11-13). FEDERER WINS FIRST SET.
Federer 6-6 Tsitsipas* (*denotes next server)
Tsitsipas tries his luck with a drop shot, it pays off as Federer scampers to the ball but doesn’t get the lift on the reply. The inside-in from Federer after a serve out wide helps steer the great champion to two game points. Another solid serve out wide takes us to a first-set tiebreak.
Federer* 5-6 Tsitsipas (*denotes next server)
Tsitsipas drops his opening point on his serve as Federer finally halts the 14th seed’s momentum. Some deep hitting draws an error from Federer while his first serve has been immense and too hot for the Swiss to handle so far. Another sturdy hold from the youngster. Aside from the opening game, he’s been solid.
Federer 5-5 Tsitsipas* (*denotes next server)
A beautiful backhand winner from Tsitsipas gets the Greek on the board but it’s the next point which draws a wide grin from the youngster. He stays toe-to-toe with the legend, matching him stroke for stroke before Fed mistimes a forehand but it lands flush on the line. How’s your luck.
Federer* 4-5 Tsitsipas (*denotes next server)
Tsitsipas, with his pink sweat-band and long flowing wavy hair, is dominant on his serve now. Federer isn’t getting a look in. He romps to another love-hold. That’s now 13-straight points he’s won on his serve.
Federer 4-4 Tsitsipas* (*denotes next server)
A first ace from Federer down the T sets up two game points before he mistimes a forehand to allow Tsitsipas back at 40-30. The Greek floats a backhand winner flashing past Federer at the net for deuce but the Swiss rushes into the net for the 11th time this match and punches home a volley. We remain on serve this set.
Federer* 3-4 Tsitsipas (*denotes next server)
Calm as you like now from Tsitsipas as he holds to love. He’s in the zone and isn’t letting distractions faze him.
Federer 3-3 Tsitsipas* (*denotes next server)
Tsitsipas takes on umpire James Keothavong at the start of the game, agitated by a call. Keothavong handles the conflict well, asking Tsitsipas if he wants to challenge a ball. He does, unsuccessfully.
Federer stays his serene and flawless self at the opposite end, allowing Tsitsipas to get hot under the collar. Tsitsipas regains his focus, drilling a forehand winner inside the line. Pat Cash describes it as ‘Federer-esque’. From a position of control, Tsitsipas drags Federer back to deuce. But at game point, a kicked second serve deceives Tsitsipas.
Federer* 2-3 Tsitsipas (*denotes next server)
Tsitsipas opens up with a bullet of a first serve, clocking 128mph and flying past Federer. The pair exchange some classy one-handed backhands but it’s Fed who blinks first and pushes long. A body serve gets Tsitsipas on the front foot and a deft drop shot has Federer at sea. Tsitsipas has only dropped one point off his serve since the drama of the opening game.
Federer 2-2 Tsitsipas* (*denotes next server)
Federer guarding the net again and forcing Tsitsipas to pass or lob him. The 14th seed goes for the latter, but Fed is incredibly difficult to lob. An ace takes Federer to three game points and a whipped forehand winner seals a love hold.
Federer* 1-2 Tsitsipas (*denotes next server)
Great recovery from Tsitsipas after his opening service wobble. A first ace helps him to three game points before Federer chips-charges on a second serve and forces the Greek to rush his response. A solid first serve which Federer strikes into the middle gets Tsitsipas over the line.
Federer 1-1 Tsitsipas* (*denotes next server)
An inside-out forehand from Tsitsipas draws an error from Federer for the Greek’s first point off the 20-times grand slam champion’s serve. But Federer doesn’t give away many free points. He drills a forehand winner into the corner and wraps up a comfortable hold by sending Tsitsipas out wide with a forehand and stepping in to dispatch a backhand winner into the open court.
Federer* 0-1 Tsitsipas (*denotes next server)
Federer chips and charges on the opening point of Tsitsipas’ serve but he can’t make a return at the net. The Swiss has a very aggressive mindset early on, stepping in when possible. He reels in Tsitsipas to 30-all with a backhand down the line and volley. Slight nerves from the Greek as he strikes long with a forehand to hand Federer break point. There’s a warning already for the 14th seed for going over the serve-time allowance. He doesn’t let it shake his focus and he hangs in the game for deuce. He takes a moment to give himself a talking to. It’s pushing it on the 25-second service time again, taking it down to zero before he fires a first serve down. At advantage, the young gun bounces a backhand volley into his own half of the court. And wait, it goes from bad to worse as he suffers another time violation and loses the right to his first serve. Now he sends down a double. The crowd start to rally to lift his spirits with Federer at break point No 2. Tsitsipas gets his first serve in. It’s called out and the Greek challenges. Hawk-eye shows it did catch the line and Tsitsipas is handed the point. Fed isn’t happy and it’s an interesting start to the match.
Just when it looks like Tsitsipas is on the front foot, Federer reels the youngster in again. A forehand winner into the corner brings up another game point and after eight minutes, the 14th seed is finally on the board. What an opening game.
Here comes Tsitsipas
Shoulders back, head up and breathing deeply. Tsitsipas is a picture of calm as he walks out on Rod Laver. Federer follows 30 seconds later and saunters past his Greek opponent who keeps himself distracted in his chair by adjusting his shoe laces. He’s got to be feeling the nerves but is doing his best not to show it.
Getting to know Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas and Federer due on Rod Laver in a couple of minutes now. Before they arrive, have a read of my colleague Charlie Eccleshare‘s exclusive interview with the young Greek.
Here’s a flavour right here…
Tsitsipas is clearly a little bit different. Where many of his contemporaries spend their free time playing computer games like Fortnite and Fifa, Tsitsipas – only 20 years old and the 15th best tennis player in the world – is happier discussing his passion for photography, podcasting and solo travel.
Next up for Tiafoe – Nadal
Tiafoe will now take on Nadal after the Spaniard demolished Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-1, 7-6.
Berdych has been a player reborn in Australia after taking the second half of last season off with a back injury but he was overwhelmed in the early stages and did not get on the board until the 10th game.
The Czech put up a much better fight in the third set and held one set point in the 12th game but Nadal proved the stronger in the tie-break.
It is the 11th time in his last 12 appearances at Melbourne Park that Nadal has reached at least the quarter-finals, with his only title coming 10 years ago.
Next Gen’s Tiafoe reaches quarter-finals
If Tsitsipas needs any more motivation ahead of his daunting clash with Federer he could turn to American Frances Tiafoe and the progress he has made these championships.
Tiafoe celebrated his 21st birthday with a coming of age win over Grigor Dimitrov to reach his first grand slam quarter-final.
The son of immigrants from Sierra Leone, Tiafoe got into tennis after sleeping on the floor of the training centre where his father was the head of maintenance.
He enjoyed a breakthrough 2018 and has built on that superbly in Australia, showing his talent and belief in a 7-5, 7-6, 6-7, 7-5 victory that featured no end of tight moments.
Tiafoe has become famous this week for his LeBron James-style, muscles-out celebrations but he was almost too overcome by his emotions to perform them this time.
Fighting back tears, he said: “It means the world. I work my ass off man. I told my parents 10 years ago I was going to be a pro, I was going to change my life and their life. Now I’m in the quarters of a slam. I can’t believe it.”
‘Tsitsipas won’t be fazed by playing Federer’
Morning all and welcome to our coverage of Roger Federer’s fourth-round clash with one of the game’s bright young thing in 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Federer will be appearing in his 101st match at Melbourne Park, as he chases a seventh Australian Open, while Greece’s Tsitsipas is playing only his second fourth round match in a major – backing up his maiden achievement at Wimbledon last year.
Despite the gulf in experience, seven-time slam winner Mats Wilander, speaking on Eurosport, believes Tsitsipas has the game and personality to cause a huge shock.
“He won’t be fazed by playing against Roger Federer or on Rod Laver Arena in front of a full house at all.
“I think he’s pretty relaxed by big moments like that, but it doesn’t mean he’s complacent. He’s super focused. I think we might get the wrong idea about him because of his charisma and on-court attitude but he’s like Nadal: mega, mega, mega focused and he wants it.
“If you ask me, out of the young guys, if you want someone who can transcend the sport of tennis, this is the guy. He just has to back it up with grand slam wins and does he have the game, the level of these guys? I don’t know yet.”
Play will get underway at 8am this morning so please stick around for our game-by-game coverage.
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