Greek World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas is into the semi-finals of the Australian Open after pulling off a dominant 6-3 7-6 6-4 win over giant-killer Jiri Ledecka.

Ledecka had entered the tournament ranked No. 71 in the world but defeated 21st seed Borna Coric, 11th seed Cam Norrie and 6th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime on his way to the quarterfinals.

But Tsitsipas was way too strong, breezing through the match in straight sets to set up a mouth-watering clash against in-form Russian Karen Khachanov in the semi-finals.

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The 24-year-old Greek star, who is looking to breakthrough for his first grand slam victory after falling short in the 2021 French Open final, has endeared himself to Aussie crowds at the event, and did so once again.

Earlier in the event, he used Aussie slang, then he said he’d buy a house in Australia when he retired.

And now Tsitsipas has his eyes on an Aussie treasure, Hollywood actress Margot Robbie.

In his on-court interview with Jim Courier, Tsitsipas praised the crowd and the support and said: “Australia is such a great country. I like of Aussie things, you know. One of my favourite actresses comes from Australia, Margot Robbie …”

Courier: “Margot Robbie? Are you pitching right now? Are you making an offer, what are we seeing here?”

Tsitsipas: “It would be nice to see her over there one day.”

Courier: “So you are officially extending an invitation to Margot Robbie. I just want to be crystal clear here.”

Tsitsipas: “Absolutely. But that is not it. That is not it.

“I like a lot of things in Australia, you know. The people are very welcoming. I have said that so many times, I will keep saying it because it is very true.

“I grew up in place that is very similar in terms of conditions and lifestyle and I find myself feeling home when I am here. It is not too tropical, not too humid and I very much feel like home.

“I know the French have the Roland Garros as their Grand Slam, the British have Wimbledon, the Americans have the US Open. For me the Australian Open is always going to be my home Grand Slam. I feel very much loved here.”

I mean, what better time to shoot your shot than when you’re just made an Australian Open semi-final?

However, trying not to get caught up in his promise to move to Australia, Tsitsipas did pledge to open a school in Victoria if he came away with the Australian Open title and its $2.975m in prizemoney.

“I have recently been putting a lot in when it comes to charity, and I would love one day hopefully, winning the Aussie Open and giving every portion of the prizemoney to build a school in Victoria, which is the state of education. I would like to do that,” Tsitsipas said.

“Let’s put tennis to the side because there are a lot more important things in life. I saw Victoria was the state of education and there is an idea for me over there that came to my mind and I saw how difficult it is for a lot of kids around the world to go to school and get proper education which is important, because, you know, not all kids grow up privileged.

“So I would really like to provide – give an opportunity to kids here in this state to build a school and provide them with free education and anything else.

“And to put it into words, that is what Australia means to me.”

Seven News Melbourne reporter Christie Cooper tweeted: “How long before someone breaks it to #Tsitsipas that school is already free for underprivileged kids in Victoria… great match though!”

It was a huge night of action with 33-year-old Victoria Azarenka knocking out 3rd seed Jessica Pegula.

It leaves Azarenka, who won the Australian Open title in 2012 and 2013, just two wins from joining the elite list of mothers to win a grand slam title after the birth of their child.

11.41pm – Tsitsipas crushes Ledecka

Stefanos Tsitsipas is into the semi-final of the Australian Open after crushing 6-3 7-6 6-4 win over unseeded surprise packet Jiri Ledecka.

The World No. 71 took out 21 seed Borna Coric, 11th seed Cam Norrie and 6th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in a giant-killing run but Tsitsipas was a different level.

While the Czech 21-year-old tried his best, particularly in a tight second set, the Greek World No. 4 was way too strong.

8.54pm – Mum knocks out billionaire heiress in huge upset

The Australian Open twists and turns are not over just yet after Victoria Azarenka knocked out the highest seeded women’s star left in another stunning upset.

The two-time Australian Open champion and 24th seed Azarenka smashed 3rd seed Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-1 in a spectacular performance.

Azarenka, who was No. 1 back in 2012 and 2013 when she claimed her titles, also dropped down the rankings since her son Leo was born in 2016.

Azarenka went through a custody battle with Leo’s father, dropping as low as 201 in the world in 2017 but since she’s been back has risen as high as 13 in the world in 2020 and 2021.

Pegula has been on an upward trajectory and has risen to World No. 3, led the US to a United Cup win before the Australian Open and hadn’t dropped a set in the tournament until she met Azarenka.

Pegula is the daughter of Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, who have a net worth of $US6.7 billion, but has been forging her own path as a professional tennis star.

The result is Azarenka’s first Australian Open semi-final since winning the title in 2013.

The Belarusian outlasted her American opponent in a marathon 64-minute first set before running away with the second to set up a last-four encounter against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina at Melbourne Park.

The commentators were blown away by the performance from Azarenka.

“This is vintage Azarenka,” Nine commentator Jelena Dokic said. “This is her at her best.”

“Mum’s the word!” Sam Smith said.

“Azarenka back in the last four down under and ripping up the form book at this women’s draw.”

A lot is riding on the next few games as Azarenka could return to the top 10 if she can take out her third grand slam title at 33.

For the record, mothers who have won grand slams include Aussies Margaret Court (1973 Australian Open, French Open and US Open), Evonne Goolagong (1980 Wimbledon), Kim Clijsters (2009 US Open, 2010 US Open, 2011 Australian Open).

Before the Open Era began in 1968, Sarah Palfrey Cooke (1945 US Open), Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman (1919 US Open) and Dorothea Douglass Chambers (1910 and 1911 Wimbledon after her first child, 1913 and 1914 Wimbledon after the birth of her second).

4.54pm – ‘What a shame’: Giantkiller’s sad end

The incredible Australian Open campaign of American Sebastian Korda is over after he had to retire due to a wrist injury in the third set of his quarterfinal against Karen Khachanov.

It’s the Russian 18th seed’s first Australian Open semi-final visit and he’ll play the winner of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jiri Ledecka, who play this evening.

Down 7-6 6-3 3-0 in the third, Korda sat down at a change of ends before approaching Khachanov to concede the match.

Korda had a brilliant start to the year, winning eight of 10 matches, making a final and his first grand slam quarterfinal.

4.26pm – Tennis in disbelief over ‘ridiculous’ image

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is through to the Australian Open semi finals after a 6-2 6-4 win over Jelena Ostapenko but fans have been left stunned by a moment from the first set.

With Rybakina already up a break in the first set, a forecast shower hit Melbourne and forced the pair off the court for 25 minutes.

Rod Laver Arena was drenched and when the roof came over, it had to be dried.

We’re in a world where self-driving cars are on the horizon, AI runs most of our lives and there aren’t even linespeople at the Australian Open — they’ve been replaced by an electronic line judge.

But instead of having a faster way of drying the court, instead the ballkids have once again come to the rescue, drying the court on their hands and knees with towels.

As the fact the ballkids are unpaid volunteers, particularly when there was a match that finished just after 4am and the ballkids are, well, kids, it once again highlights the issue.

Newscorp reported that Tennis Australia explained it was the fastest way to get play going.

Fans were perplexed however that this was indeed the fact in the year 2023.

Controversy erupted earlier in the tournament when social media users discovered that the ballkids weren’t in fact paid for their work at the Australian Open.

Around 2500 kids apply to be ballkids every year, with less than one in five of them actually successful.

Those who do make the cut are then working under strict conditions and under torrid weather conditions that Melbourne throws up in January.

A whopping prize pool of $AUD76.5 million was on the table for those participating, up 3.4 per cent on 2022.

And it’s not like no ballkids get paid, Ballkids working at the US Open are paid $15 per hour while at Wimbledon they’re given a flat rate of $351 per week.

The conditions were laid bare most obviously after the 4am finish in the five hour, 45 minute Andy Murray-Thanasi Kokkinakis epic.

After the match, three-time grand slam winner Murray declared: “If my child was a ball kid for a tournament, they’re coming home at 5am in the morning, as a parent, I’m snapping at that.

“It’s not beneficial for them. It’s not beneficial for the umpires, the officials. I don’t think it’s amazing for the fans. It’s not good for the players.

“We talk about it all the time. It’s been spoken about for years. When you start the night matches late and have conditions like that, these things are going to happen.”

3pm – de Minaur slams ‘media controversy’

Alex de Minaur has taken aim at the media after comments from both him and Novak Djokovic raised eyebrows following his straight sets loss to Djokovic in the fourth round.

De Minaur said 12 months ago he was tired of the Djokovic deportation circus overshadowing the Australian Open.

While praising Djokovic as “an incredible athlete”, De Minaur said Djokovic had “taken a lot of spotlight away from us competitors”.

De Minaur also showed a hint of frustration towards his opponent when asked about Djokovic’s much-debated hamstring injury on Monday night.

“I think everyone’s kind of seeing what’s been happening over the couple of weeks,” de Minaur said.

“It’s the only thing everyone’s been talking about. Either I’m not a good enough tennis player to expose that, or it looked good to me.”

Djokovic then sent a bitter message to de Minaur. in his post-match press conference.

“I don’t have any relationship with him,” Djokovic said.

“I respect him as a rival, a colleague, as I respect everyone. I have no problem contacting him, congratulating him, etc. But I don’t have any other relationship. I don’t have any communication with him. He showed in 2022 what he thinks about me.”

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, de Minaur dismissed any suggestions of a rift being him and Djokovic, saying he was simply outplayed.

“I hate how media will always create controversy and takes things out of context to make a headline,” de Minaur wrote.

“Got outplayed and outclassed yesterday. How about we focus on the tennis for once.

“I will get back to work and improve you can count on that. Thank you Australia.”

2.45pm – Rybakina into semis

Elena Rybakina is into the semi-finals of the Australian Open after defeating Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 in their quarter-final.

12pm – ‘Have you ever seen anything like that’

Day 9 of the Australian Open began in bizarre fashion with the electronic line calling system failing on the first serve on Rod Laver Arena.

Aussies John-Patrick Smith and Lizette Canbrera didn’t know what to do at the start of the match after Smith’s first serve landed in the middle of the service box only for the electronic line calling system to rule it was a fault.

The chair umpire didn’t know what to say as officials worked to correct the system which appeared to be set on the wrong side of the court.

After a delay of several minutes, play resumed.

“That’s a mile inside that service box,” tennis commentator Abigail Johnson said on TV.

“Have you seen anything like this ever at the beginning of a match?

“I don’t know if that’s amusement or embarrassment or a little bit of both, but here we go again.”

Channel 9 commentator Peter Paltis was also lost for words.

He said the players looked “stunned”.

When play resumed the Aussie pair were eventually beaten Rafael Matos and Luisa Stefani 6-3 6-4.

9.45am – Djokovic rages over latest rumour

The drama was flying thick and fast on Monday following Novak Djokovic’s ruthless demolition job Aussie Alex de Minaur.

It emerged after the match that Djokovic has simply had enough of the rumours and speculation that has surrounded his hamstring injury on his left leg.

Djokovic played nearly perfect tennis in the straight-sets win over de Minaur, where he won 16 of the final 19 service games, leading to another flurry of suggestions he has been faking the injury that he says he has carried since playing in Adelaide earlier this month.

Asked afterwards how he had been so emphatic, Djokovic told the crowd: “Because I wanted to.”

The 35-year-old called it his “best match of this year so far” and a “perfect match”.

And of his hamstring added: “Tonight I didn’t feel any pain. I moved as well as I have the whole tournament.

“It means we are progressing in the right direction.”

He again addressed the issue in his post match press conference and vented his fury when speaking to Serbian journalists.

“I leave the doubting to those people – let them doubt,” Djokovic said.

“Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, I am faking it. It is very interesting … I don’t feel that I need to prove anything to anyone.

“I have got the MRI, ultrasound and everything else, both from two years ago and now. Whether I will publish that in my documentary or on the social media, depends on how I feel. Maybe I will do I it, maybe I won’t.

“I am not really interested at this point what people are thinking and saying.

“It is fun, it is interesting to see how the narrative surrounding me continues, narrative that is different compared to other players that have been going through similar situation. But I am used to it, and it just gives me extra strength and motivation. So I thank them for that.”

Tennis journalist Jose Morgado said they were “strong words” for the nine-time champion to use.

9am – ‘Cannot believe it’: Open absurdity stuns fans

Never-say-die fifth seed Andrey Rublev saved two match points to topple Danish teen Holger Rune in a tense five-set clash on Monday, booking his place in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

In a battle of two former junior world number ones, the Russian broke when Rune was serving for the match, then saved two match points before winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11/9) in sapping heat on Rod Laver Arena.

“It’s not like a rollercoaster, it’s like they put a gun to your head. A rollercoaster is easier,” said the exhausted Russian after the 3hrs 37mins epic.

“I think I was never able to win matches like this and this was the first time ever that I won something like this to be in the quarter-final.

“I was 5-2 down in the fifth, at 6-5 two match points and then 7-3 (behind) on a super tie-break. I have no words, I’m shaking.”

Rublev had bounced back from 7-3 down in the tie-break for the gutsy win.

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