Stefanos Tsitsipas became the youngest man to make it to a Grand Slam title round since Briton Andy Murray at the 2010 Australian Open when the 22-year-old from Greece overcame a fighting Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 at the French Open on Friday.
World No.5 Tsitsipas, who is through to his maiden major final of his career after a three-hour and 37-minute slugfest against Zverev, also became the first player from Greece to make it to a Grand Slam final.
Tsitsipas will meet the winner of the second semi-final between 13-time French Open champion, Rafael Nadal of Spain, and Serbian world No.1 Novak Djokovic.
Tsitsipas trails Djokovic 2-5 and is 2-7 against Nadal.
The win ended Tsitsipas’s losing streak in Grand Slam semi-finals — he had also entered the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021.
Tsitsipas, competing in his fourth major semi-final, capitalised on a nervous start from Zverev to win the first three games in 11 minutes and the opening set in 38 minutes.
The Greek, who is now 6-4 in five-set matches, then clawed back from 0-3 down in the second set by winning seven straight games. Zverev, however, struck back with his serve-dominated play to take the next two sets.
The German started to play his best tennis in the fourth set, winning 20 of 24 service points. But Tsitsipas recovered from 0/40 in the first game of the decider and some costly errors by Zverev handed the momentum back to the Greek.
Tsitsipas saved three break points in his opening service game of the fifth set before opening up a 4-1 lead. Zverev saved four match points to hold for 3-5 but it only delayed the inevitable by one game as Tsitsipas sealed the win with an ace.