Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Alexander Zverev in a thrilling five-set match at the French Open to become the first player from Greece, male or female, to reach a Grand Slam final.
On a sunny Court Philippe Chatrier, the 22-year-old blew a two-set lead against Zverev before recovering to win in five sets.
Tsitsipas had to save five match points to advance to his first Grand Slam final after losing in the semi-finals in the first three tournaments he entered.
The Opening Points are Exchanged
After trading opening points, Tsitsipas breaks Zverev’s serve with a forehand winner (15-30). A second forehand he pulls wide gives his opponent two match chances at 15-40.
Deuce! He averts disaster with an exocet of a serve and a beautiful backhand sliced drop shot.
Once again, Tsitsipas has the upper hand after Zvereve hits the ball into the net, but this time he is able to avoid a match point by serving an ace.
On match point number four, Tsitsipas is saved by another great serve from Zverev, which the Greek returns far.
Zverev takes the lead, but a net cord bounce puts the score back at deuce. Zverev saves four match chances in the longest game of the match and holds beautifully to win.
Zverev Winced and Tsitsipas Raised His Right Fist
Tsitsipas got his first match point 15 minutes later, and although he needed five of them to win, he won the first one with an ace.
Tsitsipas is the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam singles final and the youngest man to reach the French Open final since Rafael Nadal in 2008. Nadal won the tournament five days after turning 22.
Additionally, this rise did not occur from thin air. Over the past few years, Tsitsipas has been steadily progressing toward this goal.
Having already reached the semifinals of three consecutive majors and currently leading the ATP in both overall match wins (39) and clay-court wins (22).
By beating Alexander Zverev of Germany in a gruelling five sets on Friday at the French Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas made history as the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam final.
Fifth-seeded Tsitsipas prevailed 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, and will now play either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal for the title.
With a record of 2-7 versus Nadal and 2-5 against Djokovic, the 22-year-old has his work cut out for him on Sunday.