PARIS – Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first Greek player in 83 years to reach the second week at Roland Garros on Saturday as he survived a scare in the third round against Filip Krajinovic.
The sixth seed led by two sets overnight, with the match suspended at 5-5 in the third due to darkness at 9:52 p.m. local time, and saw Serbia's Krajinovic launch a comeback.
Tsitsipas lost the set in a tie-break but sealed a 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (8/6) success on Court Philippe Chatrier after overturning a 5-3 deficit and saving a set point in the fourth.
The 20-year-old will take on either former champion Stan Wawrinka or Grigor Dimitrov for a place in his second Grand Slam quarter-final, after their match was also suspended on Friday evening.
"It's really tricky when you come back after a day. It's unusual, you don't do it that often," said Tsitsipas.
"It was important I saved those set points. Closing in the fourth set, it's important to save energy."
The last Greek player to reach the second week at Roland Garros was Lazaros Stalios in 1936.
Tsitsipas, who stunned Roger Federer en route to the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year, had battled back from 5-2 down in the third set to keep his hopes of a straight-sets win alive.
World number 60 Krajinovic has good memories of the French capital, though, having reached the Paris Masters final in 2017, and forced a fourth set in a high-quality tie-break.
He looked likely to take the match into a decider when Tsitsipas made back-to-back double faults to be broken in the seventh game, but Krajinovic played a dreadful game when serving for the set and was broken to love.
Tsitsipas took full advantage, forcing another breaker, in which he sealed victory after saving a set point on his first match point.AFP