Stefanos Tsitsipas serves his way into his second ATP 500 semifinal

by: Nina Pantic | August 03, 2018

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WATCH—Match point from Tsitsipas' win over Goffin at Citi Open:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It's time to hop on the Stefanos Tsitsipas bandwagon. On Friday, the young Greek cruised into the Citi Open semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 dismissal of third-seeded David Goffin. 

Tsitsipas is one of just three teenagers inside the Top 100, but he stands out from everyone on tour thanks to his heritage (not just his bright pink shirt and matching headband). He’s the first Greek in Open era history to crack the ATP Top 100, and the first to reach an ATP 500 final.

"I feel very very happy that I've done so much work with my team and it's slowly paying off," the 19-year-old said. "All of my dreams are becoming reality. It's a strong, big step that I made since last year."

His breakthrough came in Barcelona, where he stormed to the final before falling to Rafael Nadal. The teen started the year at No. 91, but is now guaranteed to crack the Top 30.

"It is a bit surprising because my goal going into the year was to finish in the Top 50," he said. "But now I'm almost close to being inside the Top 30. So I have new goals, bigger goals."

His floppy hair and bouncy strut make him look his age, but his game is far from his world No. 1 junior tennis days. Standing at a lanky 6’4”, he serves big, takes huge cuts—even with his one-handed backhand—and pounces on his opportunities. Against the veteran Goffin, he got a look at just one break point in the first set, but nabbed it for 3-1 and never looked back. Even a rain delay at 5-3 didn’t slow his roll.

He's already used to playing the big dogs on tour in just his second full year. 

"It's something I've been dreaming of for a long time," Tsitsipas said. "I'm very happy and glad that I'm in a position where I'm competing against the top seeds and top players on the ATP World Tour rankings."

WATCH—Tsitsipas visited the Tennis Channel studio after his win: 

While his all-court game is solid, Tstisipas is also already great at the intangibles. He has a positive attitude, short memory after a mistake and a full-hearted fighting spirit. Just look at his opening-round match against Jared Donaldson. Tsitsipas was down double match point on Donaldson’s serve in the third set, but he never gave up. He benefited on Thursday by advancing to the quarters quickly before rain delayed play by hours.

The extra pep in his step was obvious on Friday as he broke Goffin right away in the first game of the second set, and maintained that lead quite comfortably. Goffin looked more sluggish and produced some errant errors as well as lacked authority at the times he needed it most. Tsitsipas gave him little room to breathe, except for needing to save one break point while serving for the match. 

"I remained patient. I didn’t hurry," Tsitsipas said. "The serve just went on the right direction—exactly where I wanted it to be. That’s how I saved the most important point of the match—the last break point David had."

Jump on the Tsitsipas bandwagon for his huge game, but stay for his humble disposition and neon bright future. 

ATP & WTA Washington D.C.
Catch all the action from the Citi Open with live coverage from three courts on Tennis Channel Plus beginning Monday, July 30th at 2:00 PM ET. All matches also available on-demand.

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