Tennis world baffled by 'ridiculous' anomaly: 'Don't believe that'

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Stefanos Tsitsipas, pictured here hitting a bizarre winner at the Mallorca Championships.
Stefanos Tsitsipas hit a bizarre winner after the ball spun back over the net. Image: Tennis TV

Stefanos Tsitsipas hit one of the strangest winners in recent tennis history on Thursday as he advanced to the semi-finals in Mallorca.

The World No.6 recorded back-to-back victories on grass for the first time since 2019 after beating American Marcos Giron 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 35 minutes.

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In extraordinary scenes in the first game of the match, Tsitsipas won a point when a ball he hit spun back over the net and Giron wasn't able to reach it.

Tsitsipas played a defensive lob after a deep forehand from Giron, with the ball landing short in the court for Giron to put away easily.

However the ball had that much spin on it that it bounced on Giron's side of the net and straight back over onto Tsitsipas' side.

Giron let the ball bounce thinking he'd have an easy smash to win the point, but was left stunned when the ball spun away from him and out of his reach.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, pictured here in action at the Mallorca Championships.
Stefanos Tsitsipas in action at the Mallorca Championships. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

The American leaned over the net and threw his racquet at the ball in a last-ditch attempt to hit it, but it was to no avail as Tsitsipas won the point.

"I don't believe that. That is ridiculous," one commentator said as Tsitsipas apologised rather sheepishly.

Another commentator said: "That is quite incredible. I didn't realise Tsitsipas had got so much bite on it."

Players are only allowed to reach over to the other side of the court if the ball is travelling away from them, so long as they don't touch the net with any part of their body or racquet.

Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches first semi-final on grass

Tsitsipas wasn’t at his best on Thursday but dug deep to reach his first semi-final on grass at ATP level.

“It was a lot of work today. It was not easy,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview.

“I had to deal with the heat, had to deal with my opponent playing great. It was a big physical effort. I had the fighting spirit.”

The former French Open finalist hit 13 aces and claimed the crucial break in the eighth game of the deciding set to extend his tour-leading tally of wins this year to 38.

The Greek star will play Benjamin Bonzi in the semi-finals after the Frenchman overcame Daniel Altmaier 6-3 6-4.

Meanwhile, World No.1 Daniil Medvedev crashed out in Mallorca after a straight-sets defeat against Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals.

Daniil Medvedev, pictured here returning a ball during the Mallorca Championships.
Daniil Medvedev returns a ball during the Mallorca Championships. (Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Reigning champion Medvedev was a commanding winner when he locked horns with Bautista Agut at the Halle Open last week.

But the Spaniard gained revenge this time around, prevailing 6-3 6-2 for his fourth victory in five meetings with the World No.1.

"I had to play very good to beat Daniil," said the former Wimbledon semi-finalist.

"He’s the No.1 and the last champion here in Mallorca. He just beat me a few days ago.

"I played a really compete match. I was more convinced with my game, hitting strong, very solid. I think I did a really good match."

Bautista Agut will take on Antoine Bellier in the final four after the Swiss qualifier came from behind to defeat Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

with agencies

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