Tsitsipas Rolls Into Rotterdam Semifinals
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, the top seed, walks out on Centre Court like a star. He’s in a pale pink pinstripe shirt, his longish dark blond hair held in a black headband. He looks like a taller, stronger Borg. He walks like Borg. He’s a man on a mission for his first ATP 500 title in Rotterdam, a title Borg won in 1979.
Tsitsipas can see Borg’s name on the ring of champions on the sidelines of the court. When asked how that makes him feel, he answers: “Privileged.”
His opponent, Alex de Minaur of Australia, looks like a surfer, lankier and taller in person than on TV. He’s wearing a blue/aqua/yellow/white shirt, blue ballcap with sun-streaked curls peeking out.
De Minaur is fast, scrambling everywhere, but he doesn’t have the power of the Greek.
(Photo by SANDER KONING/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
Tsistsipas beats de Minaur in routine fashion: 6-4, 6-4, in one hour and 31 minutes, to reach the semifinals.
In his post-match press conference, Tsitsipas said the difference between him and his opponent was “serve, returns, and weapons.”
Tsitsipas served three aces and no double faults, while de Minaur served two aces and four double faults. The Greek’s first serve percentage was 60%, and he won 82% of his first serve points and 55% of his second serve points. He saved two of three break points. The Australian’s first serve percentage was 65%, and he won 64% of his first serve points and 48% of his second serve points. He saved nine of twelve break points.
The Greek won 41% of return points and three return games. The Australian won 29% of return points and one return game.
The Austalian’s weapon of footspeed was no match for the Greek’s many weapons, most notably his massive serve and forehand.
“I’m playing good tennis,” Tsitsipas said. “And I’m enjoying seeing myself play good tennis like this.
“The game is there. I’m trying the best I can.
“I don’t know what each day is going to bring. But one thing that I can control is my attention and my discipline and my focus, the one that I bring out every single day.
“The rest is just every word to my sacrifices and to my work ethic. So far, I’m trying to put myself into the mindset. And it is important to be ready every single day for any kind of challenges and difficulties and find solutions to everything that is presented to you.”
Next up for the 23-year-old Greek is 20-year-old Czech qualifier Jiri Lehecka.