Stefanos Tsitsipas made Greek tennis history by reaching the French Open final after defeating Germany’s 24-year-old Alexander Zverev.
The 22-year-old rising tennis star defeated Zverev in five sets.
After winning the first two sets 3-6 respectively, the German grinded through the third and fourth set, winning 6-4 respectively.
Tsitsipas clinched his place in the final by winning the fifth set 3-6.
Stefanos will have his work cut out on Sunday as his current win loss is 2-7 against Nadal and 2-5 playing Djokovic.
“All I can think of is my roots, a small place outside Athens where I dreamed to play on the big stage at the French Open,” said a tearful Tsitsipas on making his first final at the majors, secured on a fifth match point.
“It was nerve-wracking, so intense, I stayed alive. I went out there and fought. This win means a lot, it’s the most important one of my career so far.”
“There were a lot of people today that were raising flags, people cheering me on in Greek, it was very important to have these people around.”
Tsitsipas is glad that Greece is now on tennis map.
“It’s very important for me to do my job well enough to have recognition back in my country. But not only that, I’m very happy that Greece is part of the tennis community more now. I’m very happy that me and Maria have been doing a great job so far elevating the sport and keeping the hopes of Greek tennis alive,” he said.
On the five-setter against Zverev, Tsitsipas said win meant a lot to him.
“It was nerve-wracking and so intense in the first game of the deciding set. I came back and I stayed alive. I felt the crowd with me, they were cheering me and giving me their energy. I still felt that there was hope and a chance to fight back. The only thing I could do is fight. It was very emotional and this wins means a lot. It’s the most important one of my career so far.”
Tsitsipas had lost all of his previous three semi-finals at the Slams — at the 2019 and 2021 Australian Open as well as Roland Garros last year in five sets to Djokovic.
“It was just such a big relief I was able to close it in such a good way,” he said.
“It was just exhausting. I’m proud of myself. I’m grateful for every single match that I get to play. I’m obviously just blessed to have the opportunity to play against the best and test myself.”
His march to the final’s included victories over Jérémy Chardy, Pedro Martínez, John Isner, Pablo Carreño Busta and Daniil Medvedev.
Tsitsipas is now the first Greek to reach a Grand Slam final.
Maria Sakkari almost made history in this year’s bout of the French Open by becoming the first Greek female to reach the Semi Final’s of a Grand Slam.