Acapulco (Mexico), Feb 23 (IANS) Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas earned his 200th tour-level victory at the Mexican Open, overcoming Serbian Laslo Djere 7-6(7), 7-6(4) to reach the second round here on Wednesday (IST).
In a tough clash at the ATP 500 event, the Greek, ranked No.4 in the world, saved two set points in the opening set at 5-4 on Djere’s serve and then at 6/7 in the tie-break, before he edged a tight second set to advance in a match lasting two hours and 15 minutes.
“It was very challenging,” Tsitsipas was quoted as saying by atptour.com. “There were a lot of tight moments today. It was not easy coming in and trying to adjust, but I felt much more comfortable game after game. There was a point where I was getting ahead and playing my best tennis. He put up a great fight and he wasn’t easy to crack. But those two tie-breaks I managed really well and managed to execute my game plan.”
The Greek had claimed his maiden tour-level win in October 2017, beating Karen Khachanov of Russia in Shanghai in straight sets, according to atptour.com. Since then, the 23-year-old Tsitsipas has captured seven tour-level titles, including the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals trophy in Turin and the 2021 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters crown.
Tsitsipas had also advanced to French Open final last year, falling to Serbia’s world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who he has defeated twice so far.
Tsitsipas, who is the third seed in Acapulco, is aiming to win his first title of the season here, after reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open and final at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
“The fans are really engaged, and they love tennis here,” Tsitsipas added. “A lot of the players are getting good support including me and it is electric out there on court. It is one of the best atmospheres at an ATP 500 I have played.”
Tsitsipas will next face JJ Wolf after the American qualifier defeated Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2.