22 Jan 2019

Greek star into semis

7:32 pm on 22 January 2019

Greek excitement machine Stefanos Tsitsipas is still "living the dream" at the Australian Open after backing up his stunning win against Roger Federer with a history-making quarter-final victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.

Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas

Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

With thousands of Greek-Australian fans cheering him on from the stands at Rod Laver Arena and outside on Garden Square, Tsitsipas downed the Spaniard 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2), becoming the first Greek player - male or female - to reach the last four at a major.

"It got people's attention, that game that I played (against Federer)," said the 20-year-old Tsitsipas.

"I had to stay focused and I am glad that I played well today because it shows that it didn't happen accidentally."

The 14th seed will play either Spanish No 2 seed Rafael Nadal or unseeded American Frances Tiafoe in the semis on Thursday night.

Two days after ending Federer's bid for a 21st major title, Tsitsipas repeated the dose against the 22nd-seeded Bautista Agut in what was a first appearance in the last eight of a major for both players.

"It feels like a fairytale almost - I am just living the dream," said Tsitsipas.

"Living what I have been working hard for.

"I feel a bit emotional but not too much because I know that I really worked hard to get here, to play in the semis of a grand slam.

"When I started the year they asked me what are my goals this year and I said 'semi, of a grand slam', and I thought when I was answering this question I thought I was crazy.

"But, no. It is real."

At 20 years and 168 days, Tsitsipas is the youngest man to reach the last four at a major since Andy Roddick at the 2007 US Open.

Having gone four drama-packed sets against Federer without once dropping his serve, the Greek was broken in the opening game of Tuesday's clash with Bautista Agut.

The pair split the opening two sets, only for Tsitsipas to claim the third with his third set point after successfully chasing down a drop shot.

Bautista Agut saved one match point in the 12th game of the fourth set after a thrilling 23-shot rally, but he was outclassed in the ensuing tiebreak.

Three of the Spaniard's four wins at Melbourne Park this year had come in five- setters, including a first-round victory over Scottish great Andy Murray and in the second round against local hope John Millman.