Tsitsipas ‘lucky’ not to default like Djokovic after Aus Open outburst

Stefanos Tsitsipas narrowly avoided being defaulted from the Australian Open as he smashed a ball in frustration and just missed hitting a ballkid. The world No 4 advanced to the semi-final in three sets on Tuesday but was told that he was “lucky” not to suffer the same fate Novak Djokovic did for accidentally striking a linesperson at the 2020 US Open.

Tsitsipas booked a spot in his fourth career semi-final at the Australian Open on Tuesday, downing surprise quarter-finalist Jiri Lehecka 6-3 7-6(2) 6-4 in two hours and 17 minutes. The world No 71 – who was responsible for ousting the likes of Felix Auger-Aliassime – was able to frustrate Tsitsipas at times but was broken in the crucual moments to lose in straight sets.

And the third seed’s frustration almost got the better of him in the final set, as he smashed a ball to the back of the court in frustration with the Czech star serving at 3-4 down and narrowly avoided hitting one of the ballkids. Cameras didn’t initially pick up on the moment, but Jim Courier was quick to notice what happened in commentary for host broadcaster Channel 9.

“I’m not sure if we’re gonna get a replay of it Tsitsipas just got really lucky,” he said. “He swings in anger and it nearly hits the ball kid.” 

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