AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Tsitsipas handed out pre-autographed photos after the match (VIDEO)

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas was clearly well prepared for his fans after the match with the Australian Rinky Hijikata as he brought pre-signed autographs to hand out.

Tennis players generally stay back after a match to sign some fan memorabilia. The Greek star thought ahead of time though and brought signed autographs to hand out to everyone who wanted one.

It’s something that’s not been seen on tennis courts before and it’s certainly a good way to avoid having to spend a lot of time after the match.

Check out the video of Tsitsipas handing out the autographs below:

Greece's Tsitsipas always receives terrific support at Melbourne Park, while Hijikata is a home wildcard hailing from Sydney.

Hijikata got the better of it on that front, but it was the higher-ranked Tsitsipas who prevailed 6-3 6-0 6-2 in the night session at Rod Laver Arena to continue his quest to reach the final in Australia, having made three previous semifinals.

"Felt good out there," Tsitsipas said afterward. "The ball was coming off the racquet really well."

The feel-good vibes for Tsitsipas began at the United Cup, where the all-arounder went undefeated in singles as Greece reached the semifinals.

Greek flags brightened Margaret Court Arena when the third seed beat the big-serving Quentin Halys in straight sets in the first round, and the world No.4 in turn responded with fist pumps aplenty.

"I have a strong sensation whenever I'm back here, it feels like home," said Tsitsipas, who has family in Australia.

"And maybe in the future, I'm seriously thinking of maybe getting a home here one day."

At Grand Slams, Tsitsipas consistently produces his finest performances – and avoids being on the receiving end of upsets – in Melbourne.

Indeed, it has taken quite something, or someone, to beat him since his breakthrough in 2019: Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic, and Daniil Medvedev twice. All were Grand Slam winners or finalists at the time.

Thus the odds swung heavily against Hijikata, a 21-year-old with ties to Japan. But he is only just at the infancy of his burgeoning career after a successful university stint at North Carolina.

Starting last year close to 400 in the rankings, bagging his first Challenger in Playford near Adelaide in October helped bump up his ranking to its current 169.

He got his feet wet at the highest level and acquitted himself well against Medvedev in Los Cabos, Nadal in the vast Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open, and Denis Shapovalov in Adelaide a few weeks ago.

Monday marked another first, playing and winning a first five-set match after trailing by two sets and nearly a break against Yannick Hanfmann.

He celebrated his maiden Slam victory by falling to the ground at Court 8 when the drama concluded after four-and-a-half hours.

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