Tsitsipas Sails Into Mallorca Quarter-finals
Could this be the week Stefanos Tsitsipas finds his best grass-court form?
The second seed made a good start on Wednesday at the Mallorca Championships, where he defeated Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. He did not face a break point in his one-hour, 23-minute win.
“[My] serve [is] very important on these kind of courts. I think I was managing the situations on my serve very well," Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. "I felt a little bit better in the rallies. I felt like after my first serve, I was really able to get behind the ball and pick the right spots. It was I guess very difficult for the opponent to be able to adjust to this. I was doing it very well. I was very dedicated to that. It was really good for me from start to finish.”
The No. 6 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings dominated behind his first serve, losing just five of his points behind his first delivery in the match (29/34). The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion also defended his second serve well, claiming 74 per cent of those points, largely due to his aggressive, first-strike tennis.
Tsitsipas has now swept all three of his ATP Head2Head meetings against Ivashka this year, with those matches coming on hard, clay and grass courts, respectively.
The Greek will next face American Marcos Giron, who outlasted countryman Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. Giron and McDonald both played college tennis for the UCLA Bruins. Tsitsipas defeated Giron 6-3, 6-4 in this year's Acapulco quarter-finals.
“He has the game for grass courts, I’ve played him before," Tsitsipas said. "I’m hoping for a battle.”