Australian Open: Tsitsipas ‘feeling great’ after reaching semis

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By Euronews  with AP

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after winning a point against the Czech Republic's Jiri Lehecka during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship.

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after winning a point against the Czech Republic’s Jiri Lehecka during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship.   –   Copyright  Ng Han Guan/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Stefanos Tsitsipas has beaten Jiri Lehecka 6-3, 7-6, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open.

The 24-year-old will take on Russia’s Karen Khachanov at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday. 

“It’s a match that I’m looking forward to. It’s great to be back in the semifinals,” he said.

“Of course, I’m happy with how I’ve played so far. I’m looking ahead for more, for better. Looking to create some magical experiences here in Australia.”

Of the three players from Russia ranked within the top 20, Khachanov moved to his first Australian Open semifinal with a 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-0 retd. win over Sebastian Korda on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old has angered Azerbaijani officials after he wrote “Stay strong Artsakh” on the camera lens after defeating both Frances Tiafoe and Yoshihito Nishioka in previous games.

Khachanov has Armenian roots and was referring to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijan Tennis Foundation has demanded that Khackanov is penalised for his message in a letter to the International Tennis Federation.

On the court at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night, Victoria Azarenka displayed the same confident brand of take-the-ball-early, hard-hitting tennis that carried her to two Australian Open titles and the No. 1 ranking a decade ago.

The Belarusian star beat No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-1 to return to the semifinals at Melbourne Park for the first time since those triumphs in 2012 and 2013.

The No. 24-seeded Azarenka’s semifinal opponent will be No. 22 Elena Rybakina, the reigning Wimbledon champion, who defeated 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4.

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