Tougher Than Federer: Stefanos Tsitsipas Backs Auger-Aliassime For Grand Slam Glory - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Tougher Than Federer: Stefanos Tsitsipas Backs Auger-Aliassime For Grand Slam Glory

18 and already tipped by a top 10 player to defeat the notorious Big Four on the ATP Tour.

Avatar

Published

on

LONDON: Less than an hour after his exit from this year’s Fever-Tree Championships, Stefanos Tsitsipas spoke frankly about the toughest opponent he has ever played. What was remarkable was that the name he mentioned didn’t belong to a member of the Big Four.

 

The honor was given to 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime. A Canadian player who has already contested three ATP finals in his career and is currently sitting at a ranking high of 21st in the world. It was Auger-Alissime who ended Tsitsipas’ run at Queen’s on Friday.

“He’s the most difficult opponent I’ve ever faced, and I think it’s gonna take a couple of tries to beat him.” Said Tsitsipas.
“It is very difficult because he has one of the best returns on the tour. He has a really powerful, accurate serve, which is tough to read.’
“He’s really quick and fast, which is rare to find all of that combinations together, combined. Big forehand, big backhand. He can create a lot of opportunities from his backhand, but also, at the same time, he can be very aggressive from the forehand side.”

The praise towards the Canadian is certainly warranted. Auger-Aliassime was just 14 when he claimed his first ATP points. He is the first player born in the 2000s to be both ranked and win a match on the ATP tour. As for this season, he has already risen to a ranking high 11 times and became the youngest player to break into the top 25 since Lleyton Hewitt back in 1999.

Tsitsipas’ praise is certainly noteworthy. The Greek is ranked sixth in the world himself and has scored wins over Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Like the world No.21, he is also tipped to be a future star of the sport.

“He has the whole package to play big, to beat — I’m sure if he ever gets the difficult chance to play Nadal, Djokovic, or Federer, he’s going to beat them, for sure. I will not be surprised if he gets wins over those guys.” Tstsipas said of the Canadian.
“We will definitely see him in the top 5. Maybe not this year but next year or the year after. I would expect something like this.”

As for the grand slams, Auger-Aliassime has also been backed to triumph one day. Out of the active players, Dominic Thiem is the only one under the age of 30 to have won a set in the final of the major. Furthermore, every grand slam has been won by a member of the big three since Stan Wawrinka’s triumph at the 2016 US Open. At Wimbledon specifically, it has been 16 years since a member outside of the group has won.

The question remains for Tsitsipas is how is he going to revenge his losses in the future? Taking into account their junior matches, he now trails 0-5 in their head-to-head.

“Just try to return as many balls as you can. I mean, serve well. Play from the baseline well. And create break opportunities.” He concluded.

ATP

Nadal survives three-set marathon with Shapovalov in Rome

Rafael Nadal saved match points to edge out Denis Shapovalov in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

The King of Clay needed three sets and over three hours to claim the win and avoid an upset.

 

Rafael Nadal needed three hours and 27 minutes to beat the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Italian Open in Rome hitting 29 winners while his counterpart hit 46 unforced errors in the loss.

To everyone’s surprise it was the world number 14 who came out with the faster start earning two breakpoints in the first service game of the match with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break to take an early 1-0 lead and continued to have momentum earning another break and the Spaniard found himself staring at 3-0 defecit.

At 4-1 the world number three would get one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto native would break one more time at 5-3 on his fourth breakpoint of the game to take the first set.

Once again we saw some really strong play from the Canadian in the beginning of the second set we saw history repeat itself when the world number 14 held serve and get the early break this time with his powerful forehand.

Nadal was fighting to stay in the set and the match and managed to earn a breakpoint but it was quickly saved with a big ace from Shapovalov. The very next game the Canadian had a chance to get another break but this time the Spaniard would deny him the opportunity.

After the world number three held serve he went on the attack looking to go back on serve and after three chances would get the break back. He would end up winning five games in a row and would take the second set to send it to a decider.

The third set remained on serve until 2-1 when the Canadian had a chance to break and he would take to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The break didn’t hold as Nadal came storming back the very next game breaking the world number 14 to love and equaling the set at 3-3.

The set and the match would ultimately be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker is when the Spaniard would take over winning it 7-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

He will next face either Alexander Zverev or Kei Nishikori on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

Continue Reading

ATP

Novak Djokovic Moving Into A ‘Good Trajectory’ After Reaching Rome Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic admitted that he is on a good trajectory after reaching the last eight in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic (@atptour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has said that he is on a ‘good trajectory’ after moving into the Rome Quarter-Finals.

 

The world number one moved into the last eight in the Italian capital with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Despite being broken in the first game, Djokovic rallied back to break on five occasions as he cruised past the Erratic Spaniard.

After 1 hour and 11 minutes, Djokovic’s overall game was too much for Davidovich Fokina as the Serb progressed to his 15th quarter-final in Rome.

After the match in his on-court interview the top seed admitted he is on a good trajectory as he builds momentum towards Roland Garros, “I thought I played well,” Djokovic told the ATP website.

“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him.

“He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward. I thought I played better, at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than I did against Fritz a few days ago. I am on a good trajectory and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

The real test for Djokovic will come tomorrow when he faces top 10 opposition in the last eight.

It will either be Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Madrid finalist and home favourite Matteo Berrettini next up for the world number one.

Djokovic was well aware of the form either of his possible opponents are in heading into tomorrow’s showdown, “My next match will be against a Top 10 player, so it is going to be a battle,” Djokovic explained.

“Both of these guys are in great form. Tsitsipas won Monte-Carlo and Berrettini is just coming off the final in Madrid. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match, whoever I play against.”

In the other result in Rome today, Reilly Opelka reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

The American hit 18 aces as he will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Federico Delbonis on Friday.

Continue Reading

ATP

Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

Avatar

Published

on

Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending