FILE PHOTO: Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece at the Royal Tennis Hall, Stockholm, Sweden – October 20, 2018. TT News Agency/Erik Simander/File Photo
Top-seeded and world No. 15 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece will have more time than he wanted to rest before the Australian Open after falling in three sets to eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy in the quarterfinals of the Sydney International on Thursday.
After Tsitsipas won the first set 6-4 on the hardcourt, Seppi immediately broke serve in Game 1 of Set 2, then held serve the rest of the way to win 6-4. Seppi broke Tsitsipas again in the third set, winning a lengthy ninth game (four deuces) for a 5-4 lead. Seppi then won four straight points to take the final set 6-4 and win the match.
Seppi will next play third-seeded Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in the semis on Friday. Schwartzman, the highest-seeded player remaining, beat Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (1) in the quarters.
Fourth-seeded Gilles Simon of France beat unseeded Australian John Millman 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in the other half of the bracket, and will face another Australian, fifth-seeded Alex de Minaur, in the other semi. De Minaur beat countryman Jordan Thompson 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the other quarterfinal.
In Auckland, New Zealand, no seeded players remain and a trio of players yet to win a tournament on Tour will make up three-quarters of the semifinals.
Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber — an eight-time winner on tour — pulled off the biggest upset of the day, knocking off second-seeded Fabio Fognini on the hardcourt 6-3, 6-1. The 35-year-old Kohlschreiber will face fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff in the semis. Struff beat the other seeded player in the quarters, fourth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (6), 7-6 (7).
On the other side of the draw, wild-card Cameron Norrie of Britain beat American Taylor Fritz 7-6 (3), 6-3. He will face another American, Tennys Sandgren, a 6-3, 7-6 (5) winner over Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer.
—Field Level Media