Stefanos Tsitsipas defeats Zverev, reaches his first Grand Slam final
Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to his maiden Grand Slam final after defeating rival Alexander Zverev in the penultimate clash of the 2021 French Open. The Greek player won the epic encounter 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 despite losing two sets. Tsitsipas, who earlier overcame Daniil Medvedev to reach the semi-final in Paris, will now play his first championship match at Roland Garros.
Tsitsipas took an early lead in the first set before Zverev bounced back. The latter couldn't match the guile of Tsitsipas, having lost eventually. Zverev reeled off the first three games in the next set, but Tsitsipas broke thrice to wrap it up. Tsitsipas, who was looking to wrap up the match, lost two consecutive sets. However, he staged a comeback in the decider.
Tsitsipas has recorded his sixth match-win against Zverev. He now owns a lead of 6-2 in the ATP head-to-head series (2-0 on clay). The Greek has amassed a tour-leading 39 wins in the season, including 22 on clay courts. Tsitsipas won the Lyon Open and Monte-Carlo Masters during the season. Notably, he added a seventh tour-level trophy in Lyon.
The match featured the youngest semi-finalists at a Grand Slam since Andy Murray (22) defeated Marin Cilic (21) at the Australian Open in 2010. This also became the youngest Roland Garros semi-final since Rafael Nadal (22) defeated Novak Djokovic (21) in 2008.
Tsitsipas could become the youngest Grand Slam champion (men's singles) since Juan Martin del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open, aged 20 years 355 days. He will face either world number one Novak Djokovic or 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal in the finale. The Greek lost the championship match in Barcelona to Nadal, earlier this year.