Double defending Australian Open champion Roger Federer was shown the exit door from the Australian Open by 20 year old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. In their first professional meeting (they had met in the Hopman cup earlier this year) the world number 14 took out the 3rd seed in 4 tight sets.
Change of Guard?
Although it may be too early but this defeat of Roger Federer was reminiscent of the Swiss defeating Pete Sampras in the lawns of Wimbledon in 2001. At that time Sampras was the Men’s record holder of Grand Slam winning 14 trophies against his name.
Federer who was gunning for a record 21st Grand Slam was stopped by Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas whose amazing speed and agility impressed one and all. The 20 year old didn’t get overwhelmed by the occasion even after losing the first set in a tight tie-breaker. The 37 year old Federer hit a lot of uncharacteristic errors from the forehand side mostly due to his opponents return from the baseline. With this win Tsitsipas has reached the last 8 of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.
Earlier in the day another member of the ‘Next Gen’ Frances Tiafoe celebrated his birthday in grand-style by defeating Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. He now faces world number 2 Rafael Nadal who made short work of Tomas Berdych in his last-16 match.