Tsitsipas comes through 'insane' battle at Australian Open

MELBOURNE: Stefanos Tsitsipas said the adrenaline rush he got in a titanic struggle to battle past home hope Jordan Thompson at the Australian Open on Wednesday was "insane."

Last year's beaten finalist struggled to get going in front of a rowdy crowd on Margaret Court Arena before finally getting over the line 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) after a gruelling 3 hours and 36 minutes.

It set him up with a clash for a place in the fourth round with France's Luca Van Assche.

"The adrenaline and the rush I got out of this match tonight was insane," said the seventh seed, who lost to Novak Djokovic in last year's final.

"You live for these kinds of matches, the intensity was there today. We were both able to peak in terms of our tennis at some point during the match.

"The fact that I can go to sleep tonight and know I gave it all makes me extremely happy right now."

The 47th-ranked Thompson broke the Greek star in the seventh game of the opening set and did not relinquish his advantage to assume the early upper hand.

Neither player dropped serve in a tense second set that went to a pulsating tie-break. Tsitsipas blew three set points before finally closing out the set.

It fired up his confidence and he was a different player in the third set, breaking Thompson twice to race 4-0 clear and clinically closing it out.

He quickly took control of the fourth set, but his nerve failed when serving at 5-4, squandering two match points to let Thompson back in.

With the crowd roaring them on, Tsitsipas saved four set points in an epic 12th game that lasted more than 13 minutes to take it to another tie-breaker, where his serve finally clicked and he lived to fight another day. --AFP

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