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French Open: Stefanos Tsitsipas defeats Alexander Zverev in five sets to reach his maiden Grand Slam final

Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to his maiden Grand Slam final at the French Open after holding off a fightback from Alexander Zverev to win in five dramatic sets in Paris; Greek star reaches his maiden major final at the fourth time of asking following three previous semi-final defeats

Last Updated: 11/06/21 6:00pm

Stefanos Tsitsipas reached his maiden Grand Slam final after edging Alexander Zverev in the men’s singles semi-finals at Roland Garros

Stefanos Tsitsipas made history by becoming the first player from Greece – male or female – to reach a Grand Slam final as he held off Alexander Zverev in a five-set thriller in the French Open at Roland Garros.

The 22-year-old lost a two-set lead to Zverev before holding it together to record a 6-3 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-3 win on a sun-kissed Court Philippe Chatrier.

It took him five match points but Tsitsipas managed to get over the line to extend his winning record over the German to 6-2 as he reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the fourth attempt, having lost his previous three semi-finals.

World No 5 Tsitsipas has been the man in form on clay, having won more matches than any other player in 2021, collecting his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo before winning in Lyon.

He will now prepare for an even greater test against 13-time champion Rafael Nadal or world No 1 Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.

Speaking through tears as the crowd roared in support, Tsitsipas said: “All I can think of is my roots, where I came from outside Athens. My dream was to play here. My dream was to play on the big stage of the French Open one day.

“It was nerve-racking, it was so intense. Fifth set, first game, I think it was the most important game of the fifth set. I came back, I stayed alive. I had the crowd with me. They were cheering me on, they were giving me their energy.

“I still felt there was hope. I still felt there were opportunities for me to fight back and do something. Your only job is to go out there and fight, and that’s what I did.

“It was very difficult, very emotional. I went through a lot of phases of emotional breakdowns but this win means a lot. This win is the most important one of my career so far.”

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