Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Federer bats away 'changing of guard' talk after Australian Open defeat

Brilliant Tsitsipas makes history as Greek shocks Federer to reach quarter-finals Tsitsipas upsets Federer, makes Aussie Open Final 8 [Video] | Kathimerini
Cassandra Castillo | 22 January, 2019, 07:49

Some likened the victory to a "changing of the guard" type moment similar to Federer's own victory over Pete Sampras, aged just 19, to end "Pistol" Pete's 31-match Wimbledon win streak in 2001.

"He has a one-handed backhand and I had long hair, too".

In a match pitting the oldest and youngest players left in the men's draw, the 20-year-old Tsitsipas overhauled Federer in three hours and 45 minutes under the lights of Rod Laver Arena to announce his arrival at the big stage.

Marathon man Roberto Bautista Agut also broke new ground at a grand slam at the age of 30, reward for winning a third five-set contest of the opening week as last year's losing finalist Marin Cilic bowed out. We will see who is going to win, no? "I need to stay humble", Tsitsipas said.

The Swiss legend bowed his head as he walked, contemplating what could have been if not for a red-hot 20-year-old named Stefanos Tsistipas.

Federer became concerned as more break points went begging in the third set, and he was soon clinging desperately on serve.

The 20-time grand-slam title victor had four set points on Tsitsipas's serve at 5-4 but was unable to convert any of them as his junior opponent showed nerves of steel.

Merely getting the chance to play against Roger Federer at a Grand Slam tournament is a thrill for many a young tennis player.

More news: French watchdog slaps Google with $57M fine under new European Union law

I see him definitely being high up in the game for a long time.

.

Bautista Agut has certainly earned his first grand slam quarter-final appearance, coming through yet another match that went the distance.

"I'm the happiest man on Earth right now, I can not describe it", said the 14th seed, who is the first Greek in history to reach the quarter-finals of a Slam.

However, Tsitsipas quickly rose to the occasion, breaking back to level at 4-4 before sealing the first set with another break in the 12th game.

He will play world no.39 Frances Tiafoe for a place in the semi-finals after the young American celebrated his 21st birthday by grinding down Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (1-7), 7-5.

Her next assignment is against unseeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat Stephens 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-3 in a late night epic.

Melbourne has a huge Greek population, and the support for Tsitsipas is likely to grow as he continues to progress in the Australian Open.

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