WATCH: Hear from Stefanos Tsitsipas after his five-set, fourth-round win against Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open.


As days passed, and hours ticked away, over the course of the first week of the Australian Open, three-time semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas became the odds-on favorite to reach the men's singles final from the top half of the draw.

No. 1 seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal succumbed to injury in a Round 2 loss to Mackenzie McDonald. No. 7 seed and two-time defending finalist Daniil Medvedev lost to No. 29 seed Sebastian Korda in Round 3. The always-dangerous and mercurial No. 16 seed, Frances Tiafoe, was bundled out in the same round by No. 18 seed Karen Khachanov.

Meanwhile, Tsitsipas was taking care of business at one of his favorite tournaments. He didn't lose a set in his first three matches, and steadied himself in crucial moments in a five-set Round 4 win over Jannik Sinner, despite losing a two-set-to-love lead.

But what comes next? In his first appearance in a Grand Slam final in Paris, Tsitsipas was a set away from his first major trophy; can he finish what he started by the time the Australian Open ends on Sunday?

Why He'll Win

A perfect storm is brewing for Tsitsipas in Melbourne. Not only is he the highest-ranking player left in his half of the draw, but he loves Melbourne Park. A three-time semifinalist, he owns a 19-5 career main-draw record at the tournament for a 79% winning percentage, his best at the four majors.

That affinity for the steely, blue hard courts in Melbourne — coupled with feeling like he's "at home" with fervent Greek support — will serve Tsitsipas well in the business end of the tournament.

"Melbourne is the second-biggest city after Athens with the biggest Greek population. I would consider it my home Slam," he said after beating Sinner. "The French people have Roland Garros, the Brits have Wimbledon, the Americans have US Open. For me it's the Australian Open."

Another thing in his favor? He says he's keeping blinders on, and hasn't been getting caught up in projected match-ups or the other favored foes who've stumbled around him.

"Titles come if I play good. That takes care of itself, I think. If you're able to play the best you can produce on the court, I feel like the rest just follows naturally. It's a natural flow of things," he said after beating Sinner.

"We're all dealing with pressure when we're playing. For us, we are out there on a different race every single time, a race with different conditions, a race with a different player by our side. That's I think something that most players are focused at.

"I wouldn't say too many players think of future events too much 'cause tennis is a sport in which you have to stay present, otherwise if your mind wanders around, creates sort of scenarios, situations, that's not really how you can play I think and peak in your performance."


Even if Tsitsipas isn't looking too far ahead, we can. He's never lost a match to any of Khachanov, Korda or surprise package Jiri Lehecka, the unseeded Czech.

What to Watch Out For

Though he's unbeaten against the three players remaining in his half, Tsitsipas' success rate against the players left in the other half of the draw is hit-and-miss. Hamstring injury or no, Novak Djokovic owns a 10-2 record against the Greek, and famously came from two-sets-to-love down in the 2021 Roland Garros final.

Will the scar tissue still be fresh for Tsitsipas should they play for another major crown?

Other potential championship matches could pose their own challenges. He's also never beaten Holger Rune (2-0), and owns a slim edge in his 6-5 head-to-head record against Andrey Rublev.

The outlook between the ears is just as important as how Tsitsipas' game matches up with the players remaining inside the lines. While facing one of Roberto Bautista Agut (3-0), Alex de Minaur (8-0), Tommy Paul (3-0) or J.J. Wolf (2-0) in the final might inspire confidence, his status as an overwhelming favorite in a final against any of these players might prove to be another stumbling block.