Facing the biggest challenge of his career is Stefanos Tsitsipaswhich confronts him Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open (29/01, 10:30 – LIVE from sport-fm.gr & televised from Eurosport).
The two players are in a terrible state, they reached the last battle of the tournament with acquired speed, they are undefeated in 2023 (Djokovic 11-0, Tsitsipas 10-0) and claim two goals: The first big title of the year and climbing to top of the world ranking.
The top Greek tennis player claims No1 with claims, which he has made clear is his big goal. Obviously, the motivation is great for him, since he will fulfill a lifelong dream for every tennis player. Even more so, when in front of him is the person who has passed 373 weeks at the top -record number. The Serb wants to return to the position that – he considers – belongs to him and to… stay in it.
Today’s final will go down in history for the big age difference that exists between them. The eleven years that separate the 35-year-old Nole from the 24-year-old Stefanos is the longest there has been in an Australian open final.
For the title. For the Pepperstone ATP No.1 Ranking! ??
A THRILLER in the making??#AusOpen @AustralianOpen pic.twitter.com/1yRhPMSftO
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 27, 2023
If, however, the leading Greek tennis player manages to win the title, he will enter the closed group of eight active players who have won a major title: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz.
Of course, Nole also has a great motivation to leave as a winner, who if he wins another Grand Slam ia catch Rafa Nadal with 22 conqueststhe most that anyone has ever celebrated.
THE history is overwhelmingly in favor of Djokovic. The two have met 12 times, with the Serb winning nine in a row and ten overall. Tsitsipas’ last win was at the Shanghai Masters in 2019, when he celebrated with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Certainly, however, their top meeting it was in the final of Roland Garros in 2021 when Tsitsipas found himself in the arms of… history, but Djokovic with an epic upset clipped his wings. The 24-year-old tennis player had led 6-7(6), 2-6 against the Serbian legend, but the latter was sweeping afterwards and celebrated with 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
The tension. The point. The CROWD??
Ahead of the #AusOpen final, surviving @steftsitsipas & @Djokernole‘s dramatic Paris encounter last year!
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 27, 2023
Tsitsipas will be called upon to break one more bad delivery, that of the finals against the Big-3. In particular, he has been in the final nine times against Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, without celebrating even once.
On the other hand, Djokovic has another… tradition against him, since he goes to the final as No. 4 on the board. It is the fourth time he has reached a Grand Slam final as the fourth seed. In these four times, he has not managed to celebrate a title.
In this year’s event in Melbourne, the two finalists arrived with acquired speed. Tsitsipas lost just three sets and made it to the final. In the opening game he defeated Kentin Alize 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(6), followed it up with a sweeping victory (6-3, 6-0, 6-2) against Rigi Higikata and in the third round defeated Talon Greekspur 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-3. In the fourth round, the… difficult began, after he needed five sets to break Yannick Siner, even though he had led 2-0 sets (6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3).
Two more comfortable victories followed, against Jiri Lechetska in the quarterfinals (6-3, 7-6(2), 6-4) and Karen Katsanov in the semifinals (6(2)-7, 4-6, 7-6(6 ), 3-6).
After just one lost set he reached the final o Novak Djokovic. The Serb started the competition facing an injury problem, which does not seem to be bothering him yet. At the premiere it was imposed 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 of Roberto Carballes Baena, while in the second round he showed pain and lost a set to Enzo Cuaco, eventually winning 6-1, 6(5)-7, 6-2, 6-0.
From then on he faced no difficulties, prevailing 7-6(7), 6-3, 6-4 against Grigor Dimitrov, 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 against Alex De Minor, 6-1, 6- 2, 6-4 of Andrei Rublev and 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 of Tommy Paul.
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