Stefanos Tsitsipas soars into semi-finals

Stefanos Tsitsipas surged into the semi-final of the French Open with a commanding 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 over Andrey Rublev

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Slow-starting Stefanos Tsitsipas surged into the semi-final of the French Open with a commanding 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 over Andrey Rublev in an hour and 55 minutes on Wednesday.

The fifth seeded Greek avenged his defeat to Rublev in the final of the Hamburg Open only ten days ago, when he had lost a closely-fought match 4-6, 6-3, 5-7.

ALSO READ: ‘Very, very cold to play tennis,’ says angry Nadal about late finish

“I felt comfortable playing on this court and despite getting off to a bad start and being a break down, I remembered what a big fighter I am,” said the 22-year-old Tsitsipas, in an on-court interview with former French player Cedric Pioline.

“It’s also about finding solutions in difficult moments and I managed to put my brain to work.”

It was the 13th seeded Rublev who had got off to a strong start. The Russian, calling the shots from the baseline, served for the opening set at 5-3. But a nervy service game from Rublev gave Tsitsipas just the foothold he had been looking for.

Sharpen your forehand with our FREE guide

He won five straight games from there and broke the Russian’s serve twice to win the second set. The Greek continued in that vein, and as Pioline said in his analysis during the post-match interview, he had the right shot for the right moment almost every single time.

Looking more and more despondent as Tsitsipas continued to weave his magic on the red dirt, Rublev was broken in the fourth game of the third set. The Russian saved break points at 4-1 and again at 5-2 to make Tsitsipas serve for the match.

ALSO READ: Schwartzman wears down Thiem in a thriller

Tsitsipas, who had squandered six match points against Borna Coric at the US Open, held his nerve and served out the match at love, completing the victory with his 35th winner of the match, a forehand volley.

In his second Grand Slam semi-final, the 22-year-old will take on either Novak Djokovic or Pablo Carreno Busta.

Kenin, Kvitova set up clash

Seventh seed Petra Kvitova put in a powerful display to breeze past unseeded German Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-3 to reach her second semi-final at the French Open after a gap of eight years.

ALSO READ: Zverev ‘did not consult doctors’ before playing while sick

“Since I woke up today I felt pretty nervous,” Kvitova, 30, told reporters. “I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to eat, didn’t want to move, I didn’t want to go out there and play. But I knew if I step out there everything will be much better.

“I’m glad even though I had those nerves which was really big, was the biggest in this tournament, I still found a way and played great tennis.”

She will next play Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, who rallied to reach her first semi-final at Roland Garros.

The fourth seed beat compatriot Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: ‘Very awkward deja vu,’ says Djokovic after hitting linesman

“I definitely feel like I have improved since Australia. I feel like I’m having a lot of matches and finding my groove. I’m enjoying, like I love playing on the clay,” Kenin told reporters.

“I feel like I’m having a lot of confidence, I’m playing some really good tennis. I feel like I’m just playing with a lot of confidence, I’ve had some good tournaments before Paris.”