Stefanos Tsitsipas had to dig deep to beat Benoit Paire in the third round of the Australian Open – so deep that immediately after he’d won, he didn’t even realize the match had ended.
However, while the fans rose to applaud Tsitsipas and instead of rushing to the net to celebrate, the Greek fourth seed headed to the back of the court as if expecting another service game.
The umpire’s announcement of his victory sparked the realization that he had been victorious and he quickly turned around, with surprise on his face, to make his way to the net to shake Paire’s hand and then begin a proper celebration of his win.
Twice a semi-finalist in Melbourne, Tsitsipas was nothing but complimentary of Paire after their hard-fought encounter.
“I’m pretty glad with the win. Benoit is one of the biggest talents in our game, he has a lot of feel for the game,” said Tsitsipas.
“It was a very important victory for me today and also very special to be playing on this arena and sharing that with the crowd.”
Tsitsipas will play Taylor Fritz in the next round, after the American beat Roberto Bautista Agut in five sets on Saturday.
Elsewhere, world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open with a straight-set victory over Botic van de Zandschulp.
It took the 2021 finalist one hour and 55 minutes to take apart the Dutchman 6-4 6-4 6-2.
Medvedev, the US Open champion, will play American Maxime Cressy in the last 16.
The 25-year-old Russian is the highest-ranked player left in the draw and has looked impressive during the opening stages of the tournament.
“Of course I don’t want to stop [at] the fourth round but I’m really happy,” Medvedev said afterwards.
“(At a) Grand Slam, every round is very tough and even today if the score doesn’t show this, I feel like it was a tighter match than the score.”