Australian pair Ash Barty and John Peers down Greece’s Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 4-6 [10-6] to advance to the semi-finals of the Olympic mixed doubles. Realistic shot at a medal now. Next up ROC’s Pavlyuchenkova and Ruble.
The Australian duo eliminated second seeds Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari of Greece in the quarterfinals this evening, scoring a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 [10-6] victory.
The Greek pair, who are both top-20 singles players and proved a strong combination while representing their nation at the Hopman Cup in 2019, were highly-touted as medal prospects.
But Barty and Peers, who are both Grand Slam doubles champions, proved to have too much doubles nous in the 76-minute match.
They didn’t panic when Barty dropped her opening service game, responding with some exceptional returning to break Sakkari’s serve to love.
Games continued on serve in a tight opening set until the 10th game, where the Aussies struck to break Tsitsipas’ serve and take a one-set lead.
Tsitsipas and Sakkari bounced back to take a 2-0 lead in the second set – but again, the Australians remained calm under pressure. They kept fighting hard, however couldn’t reel back the early break and the Greeks forced a deciding match tiebreak.
As the tension rose in the high-pressure match tiebreak, Barty and Peers produced some brilliant doubles play to race ahead 7-3.
From there, they closed out an impressive victory to become the first Australian team to ever reach an Olympic mixed doubles semifinal.
Peers and Barty now play fourth seeds Andrey Rublev and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who are representing the Russian Olympic Committee, in the semifinals.
The semifinal winners advance to the gold medal match, with the losing team to contest the bronze medal play-off.
Peers and Barty are aiming to join a select group of Australian tennis players to win an Olympic medal. They would also become the first Australians to win a medal in an Olympic Games mixed doubles competition.