Stefanos Tsitsipas Australian Open 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas’ ‘big match play’ is ‘just like Nadal’ declares Australian Open great

Mats Wilander was thoroughly impressed by how Stefanos Tsitsipas despatched dangerous youngster Jannik Sinner to reach the Australian Open semi-finals, even going as far as comparing him to 20-time Major winner Rafael Nadal. 

What could have been a tight epic was anything but as Tsitsipas dominated the 20-year-old Italian as Sinner had no answers to the Greek’s aggressive play.

The world number four won was so clinical as he converted all four of his break chances to win 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in under two hours on the Rod Laver Arena.

While the 2021 Roland Garros finalist was under serious threat in his fourth round match with American Taylor Fritz, Wilander was pleasantly surprised by how Tsitsipas stepped up against Sinner.

“I think it’s the best Stefanos has played so far in this tournament,” Wilander said on Eurosport after the rout.

“His tactics today were very clear from the beginning and his ball striking was perfect.

“Even though he faced a tricky situation when the roof was closed, he showed a lot of experience.

“I thought it was going to be a really close match, in fact, I was thinking Sinner had a really good chance and [in the end] he had no chance in my eyes.”

Tsitsipas never even faced a break point across his 14 service games as he kept his foot down throughout the quarter-final encounter.

Wilander noted in particular the attacking intentions of the Greek in taking the ball as early as possible.

“I think Stefanos’ game plan in every match is very similar, he’s trying to take the ball as early as possible, take it on the rise, come forwards.

“He was so aggressive, he took over 60% of chances on the rise which is just unbelievable.

“Tsitsipas played an amazing match to me, I was completely surprised.

“Stefanos is going to be a great ‘big-match’ player, he’s always going to show up, just like Rafa Nadal.

“Yes, there will be match when Rafa hasn’t played well but he’s still a great ‘big-match’ player. So I think for Tsitsipas it’s the same.

“Some days he’s going to play bad and lose, but he’s going to be there and he’s going to try all of these different things.

“On all four surfaces, he’s going to find different ways of changing things around.

“It’s not easy, you have to beat him off the court because he’s not going to roll out on his own.”

Watch the Australian Open exclusively live on discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app.

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