Tsitsipas storms into the semi-finals
Stefanos Tsitsipas fought back from a set down to seize a stunning win over Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena and book a place in the semi-finals in Millennium Estoril Open.
The #ATPNextGen greek player, currently at a career high No. 44 ranking, took some time to get into the rhythm and conceded the first set in the tiebreaker 7-6 (2). In the second set Tsitipas raised his game and with two breaks sealed a convincing 6-2 win to force the decider.
Carballes Baena, who defeated Bjorn Fratangelo and Cameron Norrie in his previous rounds in Clube de Ténis do Estoril, regained his composure and with a great show of tenacity took the first break of the set to lead 3-1.
The 19-year-old Tsitsipas, who only last week made the final in Barcelona (lost title to Rafael Nadal) and eliminated the first seed Kevin Anderson in the second Round in Estoril, fought back and found himself serving for the match at 5-4. However, the young Greek was unable to capitalize on his opportunity and, with a double fault, allowed Carballes Baena to stay alive in the match. In the end, it all came down to the decisive tiebreak where Tsitsipas came back from 0-3 down, won seven points in a row and emerged victorious in 7-6(3) after two hours and 37 minutes.
“I was very focused and after the 3-0 (in final tiebreaker) the key to winning was staying as close to the scoreboard as possible.It was very important for the psychology of the game. After I won those two points I felt like I had the upper hand, I felt stronger and much more confident in my shots than him.Those two points helped a lot otherwise I would be 5-0 down, which would be a disaster. I managed to stay patient and close to the score. He made a couple of mistakes and I won seven points in a row. It was unbelievable,” said Tsitsipas after his gruelling match. "I went into the tiebreak like it was a penalty shootout. Like Cristiano Ronaldo does.Thinks and executes after."
‘El Greco’ becomes the first semi-finalist of the 2018 edition of Millennium Estoril Open. He will face local favourite and No.1 Portuguese player João Sousa who British No.1 Kyle Edmund.