Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Daniil Medvedev to reach his third consecutive Grand Slam semi-final at the French Open on Tuesday with the Russian sealing his own fate by serving underarm at match point down.
The Greek fifth seed won 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 and will face Germany’s Alexander Zverev for a place in Sunday’s final.
Tsitsipas has the most wins on the ATP tour this season (38) and won clay court titles at Monte Carlo and Lyon.
Medvedev, the 2019 US Open runner-up and this year’s Australian Open finalist, suffered his first quarter-final loss at a major. He had never won a match at Roland Garros before this tournament.
It was only Tsitsipas’s second win over Medvedev in eight meetings and it ended in bizarre fashion.
The mercurial Russian, already angry over a run-in with the chair umpire, served underarm on match point.
But as he approached the net, Tsitsipas merely fired a backhand winner beyond the stranded Medvedev.
“A very millennial shot,” was how Tsitsipas described the last point.
The world number two also lashed out at the organisers in the immediate aftermath of a match played inside an empty stadium due to a 9pm Covid-19 curfew in France.
“It was without a doubt the match of the day but Roland Garros preferred Amazon to the public,” he said of the evening session being broadcast by the streaming giant.