By dominating in five sets Alexander Zverev (6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3), the Greek offered his first Grand Slam final at 22 years old.
In the shadow of 58e duel of the classic Nadal – Djokovic, in the early evening this Friday, the first semi-final Tsitsipas – Zverev, on a roller coaster, played extra time (3:37 hours of play) and also recalled that the leaders of the new generation had more work to one day eclipse the giants of the Big Three. In tears when responding hot on the court to the questions of Marion Bartoli, the Greek, the voice strangled, first player of his country to reach a final of a Major, breathed: “Cit is so special to share this moment with you. I will remember this match for a long time. The crowd gave me so much energy at the start of the 5e set. It was such an intense match where I went through so many emotions“.
The Greek has long relegated to the rank of asserting the German giant of 1.98 m. Already led 5-2 in their confrontation, Zverev, 24, has long seemed lacking the weapons to reach his second Major Final (after losing to the wire in the 2020 US Open final). In forehand and backhand, Tsitsipas put a lot of volume in his strikes, entering the field and pushing an opponent a little lost on the court for two sets. From the outset, the Greek seized the service of the German, guilty in this game of two double faults, his cute sin. Very solid behind his service Tsitsipas pocketed the first act in 40 minutes (6-3). Led 3-0 from the start of the second round, the Greek quickly raised the bar, taking advantage of Zverev’s excitement, to go on six consecutive games (6-3). The German did not hide his frustration after a forehand that was too long. A twelfth direct fault too many in this second act, where Tsitsipas was more enterprising (8 winning strokes to 4). On the royal road, the 5e world was then, as in the previous set, the victim of a culpable relaxation and Zverev took the lead. Except this time, he managed to keep his advantage to stay alive (4-6).
Well helped by a service once again become a weapon of mass destruction. More and more annoyed, looking towards his box, Tsitsipas, caught up in the stakes, lost the thread, conceding a new break at the start of the fourth set, on a gross forehand foul. More relaxed, Zverev woke up the Chatrier on a sublime cushioned volley of forehand at the end of the set and made the powder speak on his engagements to pick up again with two innings everywhere, thanks to a winning service flashed at 216 km / h.
The public chose their camp at the start of the fifth set, regularly chanting “Tsitsipas, Tsitsipas“, When the latter erased three break points and chained four consecutive points with panache. The intensity is (finally) up a notch after three hours of play. And Zverev’s arm twitched again in the fourth play of the final act. The 6e worldwide “offering»The break to the Greek with a nasty forehand into the bottom of the net. Reinvigorated, Tsitsipas, sharper, kept his lead, triumphing by an ace on his fifth match point. Apostolos and Julia, his parents, always in their son’s wake, savored in their box.
The Greek will play his first Grand Slam final on Sunday. In the order of things. The 5e world play the tennis of his life in 2021. The leader of the Race won Friday the 39e match of his 47 contested this year. He won in Monte-Carlo in mid-April, his first Masters 1000. Porte d’Auteuil, he had, before his semi-final, yielded only one round since the start of the fortnight (against Isner ), sweeping in particular the world number 2 Daniil Medvedev in three sets in the quarterfinals. To reach his first half in Paris, Zverev, winner of the Masters 1000 in Madrid where he defeated Nadal, benefited from a very clear table not facing any top 40 player. The march Tsitsipas, strongman of the season on ocher (with Nadal), was a little too high. The player trained at the academy of Patrick Mouratoglou, who had lost his first three halves in Grand Slam, had declared that he wanted “less thinking, more action“. Wishes granted despite a level of play on alternating current. This photos and videos enthusiast with a fairly strong personality is already a hero in Greece. He might even become a new God on Sunday.