Roger Federer has 'massive regrets' after Stefanos Tsitsipas defeat

"That's why I'm here", Tsitispas said.

Roger Federer celebrated his 100th match at the Australian Open on Friday by giving young American Taylor Fritz a centre court schooling to reach the last 16.

Tsitsipas was understandably emotional after ending Federer's quest to become the first man to win the tournament seven times and claim a 100th singles title of an astonishing career.

When a reporter asked him if Tsitsipas reminded him of a younger version of himself, Federer said this: "He has a one-handed backhand". It was a fitting tribute to the man he beat, who dominated world tennis for almost two decades without seeming to break a sweat.

"Roger is a legend of our sport, he showed such good tennis over the years". I'm the happiest man on earth right now. That's a very good beginning.

Others, including Australian tennis star and Wimbledon victor Pat Cash went further and predicted Tsitsipas - who was also called a "Greek God" - will follow in the footsteps of his vanquished opponent by ascending to the world number one spot. "I'm in a phase where I want to have fun and I've missed not doing it." said Federer of the French Open.

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Switzerland's Roger Federer, left, shakes hands with Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas. - Tsitsipas is not some random up-and-comer.

It's the way the 87th-ranked Anisimova - there is no one younger in the WTA's top 100 - is doing it, with clean and unsafe shotmaking and impeccable court coverage.

Tsitsipas is in the same half of the draw as the player who has really caught the eye - old guard Rafael Nadal.

"If Roger wins, it's going to be fantastic playing in Rod Laver".

Born in Athens to the son of two tennis pros (his mom is Russian and a former junior world No. 1, just like her son), Tsitsipas started playing tennis at 3 and was already attracting attention by the age of 6. I love that he feels he is going to make it. Andy Murray first and now the greatest of all. A moment where the past shifts to the future. He did beat him in US Open a few years ago.

Tsitsipas then appeared to flout the rules again when he took his time returning to the court after the treatment. The first Grand Slam of 2019 sees world number one Novak Djokovic aiming for his third consecutive slam title, and seventh Australian Open.

  • Lawrence Cooper