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Tsitsipas faces steep learning curve at Wimbledon

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The rise of Stefanos Tsitsipas is one of the feel-good stories of tennis this year.

The Greek world number six with the infectious smile and aggressive game will be out of his comfort zone as the grass-court season builds up to Wimbledon.

The 20-year-old, who reached the Australian Open last four and won titles on clay (Estoril) and indoor hard courts (Marseille) this year, has had a difficult time of it on the surface.

A first-round straight sets loss to world number 55 Nicolas Jarry in s-Hertogenbosch was followed by another straight sets quarter-final loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime at Queens.

Tsitsipas won two matches before facing the Canadian teen but even against world number 65 Jeremy Chardy in the round of 16 he struggled, coming from a set down to win with two tie breaks.

“I am happy with the way I played. “Did a lot of things. I can take a lot of things from that and move on.

“I gained some experience and some understanding of the game on grass. The difference between clay and grass, you have to stay lower.

“You have to have fast anticipation and not necessarily play extreme tennis. You have to play clean. You have to come to the net,’’Tsitsipas said after his exit in London.

Getting experience on a surface that has a very short season is crucial if he is to match last year’s run to the last 16 in the Grand Slam and give heavyweights Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic a run for their money.

The trio, together with Andy Murray, have won every singles title at Wimbledon since 2003.

“I would love to see something different this year. “Hopefully it can be me. But I think it is good for the sport to have a little bit of variety.

“I mean, it’s boring to see these guys win all the time. We are responsible, as the new generation, to work hard and believe in ourselves if we can come up with something new, come up with our best games to beat those guys,” said Tsitsipas.

Last year he still had the element of surprise on his side being relatively unknown on the Tour. This year he is a household name and little of his game remains a secret.

Edited by Silas Nwoha

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Tennis-Big-serving Raonic knocks out Tsitsipas in straight sets

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Canadian Milos Raonic served and volleyed with precision to bundle Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas out of the Australian Open with a 7-5 6-4 7-6(2) victory in the third round on Friday.

Raonic, who reached the last four at Melbourne Park in 2016 and the Wimbledon final the same year, hit 19 aces and 55 winners and did not give ATP Finals champion Tsitsipas a single breakpoint opportunity in the match.

Tsitsipas, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open last year, was broken once in each of the first and second sets before Raonic claimed the tiebreak, much to the disappointment of Melbourne’s large Greek community, who were out in full force at the Margaret Court Arena to support the Athens-born player.

In the fourth round, Raonic will meet 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, who saw off Spanish ninth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in a marathon 6-7(3) 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-3 win earlier on Friday.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed

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Tsitsipas downs Djokovic in Shanghai, qualifies for ATP Finals

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Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas battled back from a set down to defeat top seed Novak Djokovic 3-6 7-5 6-3 in the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals on Friday for his first victory over a reigning world number one.

The 21-year-old came into the match having sealed his place in next month’s season-ending ATP Finals and celebrated with his second career win over Djokovic in three meetings.

Tsitsipas has now recorded victories over all of tennis’s so called ‘Big Three’ this year, having beaten Roger Federer at the Australian Open and Rafa Nadal in Madrid.

“He had the high-quality tennis and he played well after his serve.

“He was backing up his serve with really good, aggressive first shots in the rally,” Japan Open winner Djokovic, who came into the match on a seven-match winning streak, told reporters.

“I didn’t make him defend enough. I just gave him enough time to really dictate the play from back of the court and he deserved to win.”

Tsitsipas next faces Daniil Medvedev, who overcame Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-3 7-6(4).

The Russian third seed’s victory ensured Tsitsipas became the sixth player to qualify for next month’s ATP Finals.

Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Medvedev and Dominic Thiem have also booked their places in the Finals, with two spots still up for grabs for the tournament in London.

Roberto Bautista Agut and 2018 Finals winner Alexander Zverev, who is set to face Federer later in Shanghai, are currently in seventh and eighth places in the Race to London. (Reuters/NAN)


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Comeback king Thiem rallies to subdue Tsitsipas in Beijing final

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Austrian top seed Dominic Thiem overcame a sluggish start and clawed his way back from a set and a break down to beat Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6 6-4 6-1 in the final of the China Open in Beijing on Sunday.

The win secured Thiem’s fourth title of the year after triumphs at Indian Wells, Barcelona and Austria.

Thiem, who was forced to dig deep and come back from a set down in the semi-final against Karen Khachanov, broke Tsitsipas five times while dropping serve three times to lift his first ever title in Asia.

“Honestly I think this was one of the best matches I’ve played so far in my whole career,” Thiem said.

“I know it’s hard for you, Stefanos. You played amazing and I really hope that we have a lot more finals in the biggest tournaments.

“Last year we had a great rivalry going on and I hope it continues with many more finals to come.”

This was the first time the pair had competed in a final after playing each other five times in 2018. Thiem now leads Tsitsipas 4-2 in head-to-head meetings.

The top seed dropped serve twice in the opening set to give Tsitsipas the advantage while the Greek fired four of his seven aces to take the lead.

Tsitsipas, 21, was clearly the more fired up player, taking out his frustration on his racket after losing a point in the first set. However, Thiem recovered in the second set, saving three of four break points while converting two himself.

In the deciding set, it was Thiem who dominated, breaking twice to take a 5-0 lead.

Tsitsipas won a game back but only delayed the inevitable as Thiem wrapped up the match for his 15th ATP singles title. (Reuters/NAN)


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Edited by Silas Nwoha

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U.S. Open: Uninspired Tsitsipas lashes out at umpire during loss

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The Greek later said he was struggling for inspiration in his game.

After his Russian opponent broke to lead 4-3 in the final set, Tsitsipas did not take kindly to being told to speed things up by French chair umpire Damien Dumusois.

He had already received a coaching warning and time violation.

“You are the worst. For some reason, you have something against me, I don’t know what. Because you’re French probably. And you’re all weirdos. You’re all weirdos,” the 21-year-old shouted.

“Give me warning, I don’t care. Give me warning, give me warning, yeah, give me warning, I don’t care. Give me warning!”

The eighth seed, who battled leg cramps during the final set, got what he asked for.

Given it was his second time violation of the match, it came with a point penalty.

The subsequent 6-4 6-7(5) 7-6(7) 7-5 loss meant Tsitsipas has now fallen at the first hurdle in three successive tournaments.

“I feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over again, and my brain can’t really take it anymore,” said Tsitsipas.

“I feel like I’m doing the same routines on the court, the same execution, the same ——- I mean, same strategies and everything.

“And I feel like my mind is just ——- I don’t feel inspired. I play out on the court, and I don’t feel like I’m chasing something.”

Tsitsipas reached the Australian Open semi-finals in January but since falling in the first round at Wimbledon last month appears to have lost his way.

“I don’t think he’s necessarily uninspired, it’s more that he’s a little confused, that’s my feeling from the outside,” said former world number two and Eurosport analyst Alex Corretja.

After an ongoing dialogue with the umpire throughout the first four sets, Tsitsipas started to unravel when he was issued a warning for coaching.

Tsitsipas said his father and coach Apostolos had offered only words of encouragement and conceded that the coaching violation had thrown him off his stride.

“It’s not very pleasant when you have the umpire give you warnings and time violations and coaching violations during a match. It can affect your thinking. It can affect your decision-making,” said Tsitsipas.

“I don’t know what this chair umpire has in specific against my team, but he’s been complaining and telling me that my team talks all of the time when I’m out on the court playing,” he added.

“He’s very ———- I don’t know. I believe he’s not right, because I never hear anything of what my team says from the outside.”(Reuters/)

OLAL

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

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Citi Open: Kyrgios puts on show to down Tsitsipas in Washington

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The first career meeting between Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas lived up to the hype on Saturday as the Australian saved a match point on his way to a 6-4 3-6 7-6(7) victory over his Greek doubles partner and a place in the Citi Open final.

The mercurial Kyrgios put on a show for the sell-out crowd in Washington, fist bumping with fans mid-match and working in several tweeners, an ill-advised underhanded serve and some slick no-look volleys in a wildly entertaining victory.

For the second night in a row, Kyrgios consulted a fan prior to his serve on match point with the spectator apparently advising him to aim for the top seed’s backhand.

Kyrgios did just that and Tsitsipas could only block the rocket of a serve back, setting up an easy forehand winner that ended the match on a hot and humid night in the U.S. capital.

The world number 52 would be looking for his sixth career title when he faces either third-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev or lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk in the final. (Reuters/NAN)

VO/OJO

(Edited by Mufutau Ojo)

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Onus on younger generation to beat ‘big three’ at Wimbledon: Tsitsipas

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Younger players must take responsibility and break the hegemony at Wimbledon to ensure there is a new champion this year, Greek world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas has said.

Since 2003, one of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray have won the title at Wimbledon, with the Swiss leading the way with eight titles.

“I would love to see something different this year. Hopefully it will be me,” Tsitsipas, 20, told reporters. “It would give it a little bit of variety, something different to these guys.

“We are responsible as the new generation to work hard to come up with something new and our best games to beat them.

“Some don’t want to take the responsibility of going out and overcoming all those difficulties and beat those guys.”

Tsitsipas has already beaten Federer and Nadal at the Australian Open and Madrid Open respectively this year, but he said it was not up to just him or 22-year-old world number five Alexander Zverev to carry the torch for the younger players.

“There are others,” Tsitsipas added. “Felix (Auger-Aliassime), Denis (Shapovalov), Taylor (Fritz), Alex (de Minaur), Frances (Tiafoe)… We want a big, big rivalry in the future.”

Tsitsipas is the top seed at the Queen’s Club Championships, a traditional warm-up grass court tournament before Wimbledon, and plays Briton Kyle Edmund in the first round on Tuesday.

 

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Onus on younger generation to beat “big 3’’ at Wimbledon, Tsitsipas says

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Younger players must take responsibility and break the hegemony at Wimbledon to ensure there is a new champion this year, Greek world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas has said.

Since 2003, one of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray have won the title at Wimbledon, with the Swiss leading the way with eight titles.

Former champion Boris Becker had expressed worry about the younger generation’s inability to challenge the ‘Big Three’ of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.

They have won every major over the last two and a half years and Tsitsipas expressed the hope to be the one to accomplish the feat at Wimbledon.

“I will love to see something different this year. Hopefully, it will be me,” Tsitsipas, 20, told reporters.

“It will give it a little bit of variety, something different to these guys.

“We are responsible as the new generation to work hard to come up with something new and our best games to beat them.

“Some don’t want to take the responsibility of going out and overcoming all those difficulties and beat those guys.

Tsitsipas has already beaten Federer and Nadal at the Australian Open and Madrid Open respectively this year.

But he said it was not up to just him or 22-year-old world number five Alexander Zverev to carry the torch for the younger players.

“There are others,’’ Tsitsipas added. “Felix (Auger-Aliassime), Denis (Shapovalov), Taylor (Fritz), Alex (de Minaur), Frances (Tiafoe)… We want a big, big rivalry in the future,” he said.

Tsitsipas is the top seed at the Queen’s Club Championships, a traditional warm-up grasscourt tournament before Wimbledon, and plays Briton Kyle Edmund in the first round on Tuesday.

(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

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Federer sets up Tsitsipas final in Dubai to put 100th title within reach

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Federer sets up Tsitsipas final in Dubai to put 100th title within reach

Final

Dubai (UAE), March 1, 2019 (Reuters/NNN) Roger Federer took a step closer to his 100th ATP crown on Friday, easing past Borna Coric 6-2 6-2 in the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.

The victory sets the Swiss up for a title clash with Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Federer has been far from his ruthless best in the previous rounds, but appeared to be a different player in the last-four tie.

He broke his Croatian opponent four times and needed only 67 minutes to advance to Saturday’s final at the Aviation Club.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion will now look to avenge his shock defeat by the 20-year-old Tsitsipas in the Australian Open’s fourth round in January.

Victory for the Swiss, a seven-time winner in Dubai, will make him only the second man in the Open Era to win 100 titles after American great Jimmy Connors who has 109.

Earlier, Tsitsipas recovered from a set and 1-3 down to get past Gael Monfils 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(4) with the result set to propel him to the top 10 for the first time in his career.

“The whole match changed out of nowhere.

“I have improved since last year. Beating the big guys, big players, players that have been in the top 10, it means a lot.

“I wanted to get there at some point myself, and I made it today. I do not know, it is probably a special day for Greece,” Tsitsipas said. (Reuters/NNN)

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Edited by Kamal Tayo Oropo/Nyisom Dore

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Greek Tsitsipas struggles past stubborn Struff

Sofia, Feb. 8, 2019 (Reuters/NNN) Greek second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had to fight hard before booking his place in the Sofia Open quarter-finals, securing a 7-6(5) 6-4 win over feisty German Jan-Lennard Struff on Thursday having enjoyed the backing of the Bulgarian crowd.

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Greek Tsitsipas struggles past stubborn Struff

Sofia, Feb. 8, 2019 (Reuters/NNN) Greek second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had to fight hard before booking his place in the Sofia Open quarter-finals, securing a 7-6(5) 6-4 win over feisty German Jan-Lennard Struff on Thursday having enjoyed the backing of the Bulgarian crowd.

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas waves after losing the match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

“For the first time I play as if I was at home,” said 20-year-old Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open last month.

“I felt confident and I hope I will continue to show a good performance. Struff played very well but I was lucky in some of the games and it helped me a lot.”

Greece’s emerging talent will meet experienced Frenchman Gael Monfils, who defeated Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5 6-3, in the quarter-finals later on Friday.

Fernando Verdasco also secured his place in the quarter-finals with 6-2 4-6 6-1 win over Romanian Marius Copil.

Big-serving Copil, who reached the tournament’s final last year, bombarded Verdasco with 10 aces, but had no answer to his opponent’s brilliance in the final set.

“I have been able to put more returns than him in the third set,” said the 35-year-old Spaniard. “I made fewer mistakes from the baseline.”

Next up for the veteran is Italian Matteo Berrettini, who stunned top seed Karen Khachanov with a three-set win in the second round on Wednesday.

Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev came back from a set down to beat Dutchman Robin Haase 5-7 6-2 6-2 and book his place in the last eight, where he will face Slovakian Martin Klizan who outclassed German qualifier Daniel Brands 7-6(5) 6-4.

Marton Fucsovics also made it to the last eight after a 7-6(3) 3-6 6-4 win over another German qualifier – Yannick Maden. The Hungarian will face fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who won the tournament in 2016. (Reuters/NNN)
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Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha

 

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