It was an early end to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Sydney International Tennis as he went down in three sets to Andreas Seppi on Thursday.
The Greek lost in three sets, after winning the first, as Seppi overcame a slow start to clinch a semi-final berth in the last tournament before the Australian Open. Seppi prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 over the world number 15.
In a match lasting little over two hours, the players dropped a serve each in the first two sets before Seppi went on to break Tsitsipas in his final service game to serve for the encounter. The Italian then served out to love to complete the upset.
Having won the ATP Next Gen Finals last year, Tsitsipas has emerged as one of those who could challenge the Big Three for Grand Slam titles but started off the season with two defeats from three matches at the Hopman Cup. This included one in straight sets at the hands of Roger Federer and another to Cameron Norrie.
Tsitsipas then defeated Guido Andreozzi in straight sets in his second round match in Sydney – he had a first round bye – before running into Seppi.
Seppi, who had earlier defeated Jeremy Chardy and Martin Klizan to book his quarter-final spot at the Sydney International, said:
“I always play my best tennis in Australia so I really enjoy playing here.”
Despite the 15 aces Tsitsipas served, it was his crucial seven double-faults that allowed Seppi a foothold into the contest, and he exploited that to the fullest.
Seppi will now take on Diego Schwartzman in his semi-final match after the Argentine defeated Yoshihito Nishioka in a tough quarter-final that last three sets and needed a tie-breaker in the final set to decide the winner.
The Argentine won 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 to advance to the semi-final.