Stefanos Tsitsipas came to Melbourne as one of the favorites. The Greek built form at the United Cup and delivered his A-game at the Australian Open to advance into his second Major final. Stefans beat Karen Khachanov 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 in three hours and 21 minutes and set the title clash against Novak Djokovic.
Serena Williams congratulated Tsitsipas on his fantastic achievement, facing the Greek at the Hopman Cup and staying in a good relationship with him. Stefanos beat Karen for the sixth time in as many encounters. The Russian came from 5-3 down in the third set and fended off two match points to extend the battle and his chances.
However, Stefanos started all over in the fourth set to seal the deal and move a win away from his first Major title. Tsitsipas fired 18 aces and had the upper hand with his first serve. He landed 66 winners and 34 unforced errors to control the pace and overpower the opponent.
Serena Williams congratulated Stefanos Tsitsipas on his second Major final.
Karen converted three out of four break chances, which was not enough to force a decider. Tsitsipas earned five return games from 12 opportunities to emerge at the top and remain perfect in 2023.
The rivals traded breaks in the opener’s games four and five, and Khachanov held at love for 3-3. The Russian wasted a game point at 3-4 and experienced a break after a forced error to fall behind. Stefanos served for the opener at 5-3 and suffered a break at 15 following a volley error that extended the set.
They went into a tie break following three comfortable holds, and Tsitsipas held everything under control and clinched it 7-2 after a service winner. The Greek served well in the second set and kept the pressure on the other side.
Khachanov survived the third game before Tsitsipas broke him at 4-4 after the Russian’s loose forehand. The better-ranked player held at love in game ten with an unreturned serve to forge two sets to love advantage and move closer to the finish line.
The Russian rattled off four straight points to steal the breaker 8-6 following the rival’s loose forehand and force the fourth set. Tsitsipas made a fresh start and grabbed a break in the second set after Khachanov’s backhand mistake.
Stefanos served well and forged a 5-2 advantage after a service winner in game seven. The Greek served for the victory in game nine and held at 15 to emerge at the top and reach his second Major final.