Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Alexander Zverev in a thriller to reach first French Open final

The world number 5 will head to his first French Open final where he will face either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.

Stefanos Tsitsipas in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)

The first semi-final of 2021 Roland Garros lived up to its name as world number 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas and world number 6 Alexander Zverev treated fans to an absolute classic five-set match. Tsitsipas won the match and will head to his maiden French Open final where he will face either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal. Zverev put on an incredible display but it was the Greek’s stamina and mindfulness that ultimately took the match away from the German. Zverev had started to get tired, and his left calf was not 100%. Tsitsipas was quick to pick up this detail and angled his shots to be wide of the German, which would leave him little choice but to exert more pressure on his legs. Ultimately, it was a wide serve that won the match for the Greek.

NECK AND NECK BATTLE

The match ended 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 in Tsitsipas’ favor. As expected, it was a tightly contested game and the stats say the same story. Zverev scored 11 aces while Tsitsipas scored eight. However, the German also conceded seven double points whereas the Greek conceded only three. Their win percentage on the first serve was identical at 74%. However, it was Tsitsipas who held the higher second serve win percentage at 59% while Zverev had 49%.

The German managed to score three out of six break points whereas Tsitsipas scored five out of 14. The latter also won more service games (21) than the German (18). This match was a game of comebacks. In the beginning, it seemed like Tsitsipas was sure to go through to the final. He had found his rhythm early on and it was getting difficult for the German to back his opponent into a corner.

After going down by two sets, it almost felt like the Greek took it easy. He did not have the same intensity about his game. This allowed Zverev to slowly yet surely find his rhythm and before he knew it, Tsitstipas was on the back foot. The German comfortably won the following two sets, bringing the scoreline back to two sets each.

A BLISTERING fifth SET

Before the fifth set commenced, Tsitsipas reportedly had a change of attire at the drinks break. It is believed that something as trivial as changing attire could have a positive psychological effect on a player’s mentality, and it sure did work out for the Greek. The world number five was back at it with all of the intensity and skill, and he was dominating Zverev at one point.

However, the German was not one to back down that easily, and as the two took the fight to one another, the crowd at the Philippe-Chatrier sat awe-inspired at a classic French Open semi-final match. As Tsitispas noticed Zverev’s left calf giving out, he tried to direct most of his shots wide. This was a risky strategy as there is a risk of the ball going out of play, but Tsitsipas executed his plan with the utmost skill.

The shot that ultimately booked him a place in the final was an extremely wide service shot that was angled towards Zverev’s right. The German did reach for it but failed to make contact with the ball, thus bowing out of the competition.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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