World No. 4 and the 4th seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas scraped through a spirited Sebastian Baez to enter the 3rd round of the ongoing 2022 Australian Open. After a tight first two sets, Stefanos eventually won the match 7-6(1), 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-4 in 3 hours and 22 minutes in front of a packed Margaret Court Arena.
Sebastian had Stefanos on ropes for quite a while but the Greek pulled through in the 3rd and the 4th set to avoid a 5th set decider. Stefanos had 12 aces while Sebastian managed 5 in the match. Stefanos created ample opportunities for himself but failed to convert them that took the match into 4 sets.
Stef could convert only 4 of his 18 breakpoints while the Argentine had only 6 breakpoints of which he grabbed 2. Sebastian had 4 double faults, 35 winners and 48 unforced errors as he claimed 141 points while Tsitsipas finished with 3 double faults, 44 winners, 63 unforced errors and 157 points to his name in the match that saw both the players make plenty of errors.
“Lots of fighting, a little bit of swearing but I’m glad to be through!” said Stefanos during his on-court interview which received great applause from the crowd after a severe battle between the two players who left everything on the court.
Stefanos Tsitsipas through to the 3rd round for 4th consecutive year
With his win over Baez, Stef has now made the 3rd round for the 4th consecutive year. His only 3rd round loss came in 2020 while his other two runs saw him reach the semi-finals. Given his exploits last year, he is a favourite for the title and has his chances increased after 3-time defending champion Novak Djokovic was not allowed to participate.
Stef now awaits the confirmation of his 3rd round opponent who will be the winner from the clash between the 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov and French veteran Benoit Paire who were playing on Court 3 while Stef battled Baez.