PARIS — Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame a “psychological” challenge and lethargic legs to become the first Greek player — man or woman — to reach the fourth round of the French Open in more than 80 years.
The sixth-seeded Tsitsipas saved a set point in the fourth-set tiebreaker of a 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (6) win over 60th-ranked Filip Krajinovic that lasted two days.
The last Greek player to go this far at Roland Garros was Lazaros Stalios way back in 1936.
The match began on Friday but was suspended at 5-5 in the third set because of darkness. When it resumed on Saturday, it was determined by just a few points in both tiebreakers.
“It’s very tricky when you come back after a day,” Tsitsipas, 20, said. “It’s something very unusual, very psychological. You tend to think about the match all the time. It’s not easy with the nerves. But I got the job done.”
“My body wasn’t feeling great today. I felt much slower than yesterday,” he added. “So I’m happy I somehow found a way despite being so slow and not active.”
Up next for Tsitsipas is Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 champion and 2017 runner-up in Paris, who defeated Grigor Dimitrov, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), in another match that lasted two days.
Wawrinka, the No. 24 seed, is in the fourth round of a major for the first time since he reached the final of the 2017 French Open.
Wawrinka is 4-0 against Grigor Dimitrov in Grand Slam meetings — beating him once at each major. Dimitrov certainly had his chances to make it even tighter: He held one set point in the opener, then five in the last tiebreaker, which he led 6-2.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic, who is going for his fourth major title in a row, eased into the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2, victory over the qualifier Salvatore Caruso. Djokovic will next play Jan-Lennard Struff, who upset No. 13 Borna Coric, 4-6, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 11-9.
Also reaching the last 16 was fifth-seeded Alexander Zverev, who overcame No. 30 Dusan Lajovic. 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 1-6, 6-2, in his second five-setter in his opening three matches.
Zverev’s fourth-round opponent will be Monte Carlo Masters champion Fabio Fognini, who eliminated Roberto Bautista Agut, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
In the women’s draw, Simona Halep’s title defense remains on track after a methodical 6-2, 6-1 third-round win over 27th-seeded Lesia Tsurenko. The match lasted just 55 minutes on a hot day. Halep will next play No. 104 Iga Swiatek of Poland, who turned 18 on Friday and is playing her first French Open.
Source: Read Full Article