28 January 2023
After defeating Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 to get to his first Australian Open final, Stefanos Tsitsipas was conducting an on-court interview with Jim Courier.
The conversation came to a sudden stop as Tsitsipas turned to the packed audience, which resembled a sea of blue and white, and talked about pursuing his first Grand Slam trophy and the No. 1 spot in the world. The Greek yelled to the crowd at Rod Laver Arena, “Let’s do it, guys. Let’s go!”
The Greek flag-draped stands responded to the 6’4″ Tsitsipas with a conviction that transformed the large arena into a fortress. Tsitsipas refers to this tournament as his “home Slam” because Melbourne boasts a Greek community of over 400,000 people, the largest Greek-speaking community outside of Greece.The third seed will face the player who is seeking a record-tying 22nd Grand Slam victory and a 10th victory at Melbourne Park in the final on Sunday. In the opening set of the second semifinal, Djokovic was broken twice as unseeded American opponent Tommy Paul tied the score at five all. This incident with the chair umpire briefly stunned Djokovic.
The Serb then recovered to win 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 to get to his tenth final in this venue. The Greek with the long hair claimed that being ranked first has always been his goal. Tsitsipas stated, “This is a location of significance, so I’m delighted that this possibility (first major championship and No. 1 ranking) comes here in Australia and not somewhere else.” The 24-year-old swiftly collected himself after being brought up for time violations and a foot fault and continued to cling onto the match.
“I’m doing well in tennis. I’m having a good time. I don’t see any drawbacks or bad things happening with what I’m doing out there,” “said he. “I’m really enthusiastic and upbeat about any result, any opponent I have to face, even if it doesn’t work. My game has been weak in this, unfortunately. I firmly believe in the work I’m capable of doing. I work hard to achieve it every day ” The title match will be the pair’s 13th encounter; Djokovic is 10-2, with three of those victories coming after the 35-year-old battled back from two sets down in the French Open final in 2021.
The men’s title match is still a ways off, but the psychological maneuvering has already started. Tsitsipas maintained a straight face as he claimed he had no memory of the match from two years prior, which marked his debut in a major final. In his on-court interview, Djokovic said, “I won the match, my memories of it are all great. It was the first time I was coming back from two sets down.