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School Days: Tsitsipas into Fourth AO Semifinal with a Vow

Knowledge is power.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is exerting experience to move closer to a maiden Australian Open final—and apply his dream of schooling young Aussies.

Sabalenka: Someone Help me Fix This F--king Serve!

A dynamic Tsitsipas took down 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-4 to charge into his third consecutive Australian Open semifinal and fourth trip to the final four overall.

The third-seeded Greek elevated his play on pivotal points, raising his record in major quarterfinals to 6-0.

Afterward, Tsitsipas told Hall of Famer Jim Courier he's playing for something bigger than his first Grand Slam title, he's playing to help educate kids.

In an announcement that elicited a huge roar from Rod Laver Arena fans, Tsitsipas said if he wins this Australian Open, then he will give a "big portion of the prize money to build a school in Victoria, which is the state of education."

"I'd like to do that," Tsitsipas said. "I saw how diffficult it is for a lot of kids all over the world to go to school. I would really love to give an opportunity for kids in this state. That's what Australia means to me."  

The 24-year-old Greek improved to 9-0 on the season.

Continuing his hunt for a maiden Australian Open final, Tsitsipas will face first-time AO semifinalist Karen Khachanov for a spot in Sunday's championship match. Tsitsipas is 5-0 lifetime vs. Khachanov, including 4-0 in their hard-court clashes.

"It's a match that I'm looking forward to," Tsitsipas said. "It's great to be back in the semifinals. Of course, I'm definitely happy with the way I've been playing so far. I'm looking ahead for more, for better. Looking to create some magical experiences here in Australia."

Earlier, the 18th-seeded Khachanov advanced to his second straight Grand Slam semifinal. Khachanov held a 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-0 lead over Sebastian Korda when the 29th-seeded American retired due to a right wrist injury he aggravated hitting a forehand return early in the second set.

Tennis Express

Former Paris Masters champion Khachanov, who is the 10th active man to reach quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slams, says he's physically fresher for this AO semifinal than he was when he lost to Casper Ruud in the 2022 US Open semifinal.

"This time is different because I think I'm physically also, after preseason, feeling really good so far, and I didn't had so long matches yet," Khachanov said. "So again it's different, you know, it can be three also, semifinals, but I think coming into I will be in a physically better shape."

Photo credit: Graham Denholm/Getty