Greece’s tennis sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated France’s Gael Monfils in a 4-6 7-6 7-6 thriller at the Dubai Tennis Championships to break into the top 10 and reach the final, where he will face Roger Federer.
Tsitsipas and Monfils had split their two previous meetings, with Monfils winning their last one in straight sets in Bulgaria just three weeks ago. Today, the Greek got off to a great start in their semifinal match, as he went up 3-0 early in the first set. Monfils would then turn it around, and he seemed to be headed for the win as he led 6-4 3-1. Tsitsipas came from behind to force a tiebreak in the second set, which he won 7-4. In the third set, Tsitsipas saved four break points and Monfils saved three, and at 6-6, the match was to be decided by another tiebreak. After holding a 3-2 lead, Tsitsipas would win four of the next six points to take it 7-4 and book his spot in the final.
After winning the title last week in Marseille, Tsitsipas is now on an eight-match win streak, and today, he also snapped Monfils’ eight-match win streak. The 20-year-old Greek will also move up from his current career-high ranking of 11 to number 10, becoming the first Greek player to ever crack the top 10. He will also be the youngest player currently in the top 10, as he was already the youngest in the top 20.
In the previous rounds in Dubai, Tsitsipas beat Australia’s Matthew Ebden 6-4 3-6 6-3 on Tuesday, Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov 6-3 6-1 on Wednesday, and Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 6-7 6-1 on Thursday. He will now face Switzerland’s Roger Federer in Saturday’s final.
Federer is a player who needs no introduction, as he is widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all-time. He will be looking for his first official win over Tsitsipas, after the Greek stunned him in the fourth round of the Australian Open where he was the two-time defending champion. Additionally, the Swiss will be looking to become the first player to ever win 100 titles on the ATP tour, while Tsitsipas will be looking for his third title. Should he win, it would be Tsitsipas’ first title at the ATP 500 level.