BEVERLY HILLS, January 20, (THEWILL) – The bid by Roger Federer for a hat-trick of Australian Open titles was crushed on Sunday as Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas rose up to floor the Swiss master.
Tsitsipas thus becomes his nation’s first Grand Slam quarter-finalist.
In a match pitting the oldest and youngest players left in the men’s draw, the 20-year-old Tsitsipas overhauled Federer 6-7(11) 7-6(3) 7-5 7-6(5) under the lights of Rod Laver Arena.
This sparked delirium among Greek fans out in force at Melbourne Park.
Federer will rue his chances, having failed to convert any of the 12 break points he took from Tsitsipas over the course of a riveting clash laden with sparkling shot-making.
Tsitsipas will play 22nd-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the semi-finals.
“I’m the happiest man on Earth right now, I cannot describe it,” said the 14th seed.
“I’ve been idolising him (Federer) since the age of six. It was a dream come true for me just being on Rod Laver facing him. Winning at the end, I can’t describe it.”
The Swiss great was gracious in defeat, saying “I lost to a better player who was playing very well, who hung in there and stayed calm”.
It was a day of upsets as World number two Angelique Kerber was also sent packing by 25 year-old American Danielle Collins, who was playing the Grand Slam for the first time.
The man Federer beat in last year’s final, sixth seed Marin Cilic, was also sent packing by Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who now plays Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals.
Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Shaparova was another to fall, but there was no such drama for a rampant Rafael Nadal who powered into the last eight with a straight sets win over Tomas Berdych.