Stefanos Tsitsipas has reached the Australian Open semi-finals for the fourth time in the last five years and will now take on Russian Karen Khachanov for a spot in Sunday’s final.
The third seed made it six from six in the last eight at majors with a 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory over 21-year-old Lehecka, who had never won a Grand Slam match before arriving in Australia.
The young Czech had defeated Cameron Norrie and Felix Auger-Aliassime to make the quarter-finals but was broken in his first service game and, although he put on a creditable display, it was not enough to take a set from Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas vs Lehecka: Tale of the Tape
|80%||1st serve win percentage||79%|
|65%||2nd serve win percentage||43%|
|2/6||Break points won||0/8|
|14/21||Net points won||25/30|
|108||Total points won||89|
Foolproof from Stefanos
Tsitsipas is the fourth male player in the Open Era to stay unbeaten in his first six Grand Slam quarter-finals after Rod Laver, Patrick Rafter, and Andre Agassi.
“I can say it was a fair dinkum type of performance,” Tsitsipas said on court. “It felt different this time from the other time we played but I found a solution.
“I had to deal with groundstrokes that were coming at me heavy and deep. I put my heart out there.”
The Greek, who along with Novak Djokovic still has a chance of finishing the tournament as the world No 1, will take on Khachanov in the semi-finals on Friday.
Sebastian Korda retired with a wrist injury during his clash with Khachanov, sending the Russian through to a second consecutive Grand Slam semi-final.
American Korda has been one of the stories of the tournament, defeating Daniil Medvedev and Hubert Hurkacz to reach a first major quarter-final 25 years after his father Petr lifted the trophy.
But he began to struggle halfway through the second set, receiving a medical time-out, and, after losing seven games in a row, called it quits, trailing 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 3-0.
It was a very disappointing way to bow out for the 22-year-old, who was in obvious discomfort and was reduced to chopping forehands in a vain attempt to find a way back into the match.
Having reached the last four at a Slam for the first time in his 23rd major tournament at the US Open last summer, Khachanov is now back at the same stage in his next event.
“Back-to-back semi-finals at a Slam feels great,” said the Russian. “Obviously not the way you want to finish the match. Up until a certain point it was a great battle.”
Khachanov and Korda met for the first time at a Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2021, and a topsy-turvy contest went all the way to a fifth-set tie-break before the Russian edged it.
This looked set to be a close battle as well, with Korda recovering from a break down to force a tie-break in the opening set and then beginning the second strongly.
But he called the trainer after five games to have his right wrist taped and did not win another game.
Korda said of the injury: “I had it a little bit in Adelaide a couple weeks ago but then it went away. During the matches, it was completely fine. Then, just one kind of mis-hit return and it started to bother me a lot after that.
“Some forehands, I couldn’t even hold the racket. Volleying was almost impossible for me. So it was a little tough.”
It has nevertheless been a breakthrough fortnight for Korda, and he added: “There is a lot of positives, way more positives than negatives. Today was tough but hopefully it’s nothing serious and I can take care of it so I don’t have it in the future.
“I’m really proud of myself. Going forward, I’m going to keep on trying to do the same thing, keep on mentally being the same way. I think I can do some really big things in the near future.”