Tsitsipas Ousts Defending Champ Federer; Americans Tiafoe and Collins Knock Off Seeds at Australian Open
(January 20, 2019) No. 14 Stefanos Tsitsipas had the biggest win of his career on Sunday in Melbourne beating two-time defending Australian Open champion and third seed Roger Federer 6-7(11), 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5) in the round of 16. The victory gives the 20-year-old his first-ever quarterfinal spot at a major tournament and he becomes the first Greek to accomplish the feat.
A key statistic for Federer in the match was the fact that he failed to break his opponent’s serve, going 0-12 on break point chances. Federer had a break points, which was a set point in the tenth game of the second set, which would have given him a two sets to none lead. The 20-time major champion could not capitalize.
“I’m the happiest person on earth right now,” said the winner, who will match up against Roberto Bautista Agut next who beat 2018 Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. This will also be Bautista Agut’s first final eight of a major.
During his French news conference, Federer announced that he will return to play the French Open. He last played the major in 2015.
“I’m at a moment where I think it would be nice to do it,” Federer said in French. “I can say I have missed it, I did the right thing skipping it last year, the year before as well, and the year before that I was injured. So I felt I wanted to do it again.”
Second seed Rafael Nadal made easy work of Tomas Berdych a 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (4) to advance.
In another upset in men’s play, American Frances Tiafoe, who was celebrating his 21st birthday upset 20the seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 7-6 (6), 6-7 (1), 7-5 to reach his first major “elite eight.” Tiafoe knocked out No. 5 seed Kevin Anderson earlier in the tournament.
In women’s action, American Danielle Collins, ranked No. 35 had the women’s upset of the tournament routing No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-2 in just 56 minutes to move into her first major quarterfinal.
The two-time NCAA winner who attended the University of Virginia beat No. 14 Julia Goerges and No. 19 Caroline Garcia on the way to the round of 16.
“I played her last year, so I was familiar with her game,” said Collins. “I had a clear mindset of what I was going to do. From the very first point, I showed her that I wasn’t going to let her into the match, that I was going to dictate the entire way through.
“I stuck to my game plan. It clearly worked out well for me. Pretty much smooth sailing throughout the entire thing. I was just feeling really great.”
Collins will face the winner of the Sloane Stephens vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova match.
No. 15 seed Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian woman to reach the final eight of the Australian Open when she stopped 30th seed and 2008 winner Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. This will also be the Australian’s first ever major quarterfinal.
“It’s just so exciting,” Barty said to media. “I mean, these are the moments we train and we practice and prepare for.
“You know, sitting down with my team late last year, it was one of the goals we set out that we wanted to go deep into slams, and I feel like that was the next step for me. It’s amazing that it’s happened in Australia and is happening in Australia.
“I have given myself the opportunity and the chance to play in front of the best crowd in the world on one of the best courts in the world and in my home slam. There is absolutely nothing better.”
She’ll play the two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova for a spot in the semifinals.
More to follow…….