Tsitsipas Starts Strong In Astana
Stefanos Tsitsipas started his quest for a third tour-level title of the season in style Tuesday, cruising past Kazakhstani wild card Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round at the Astana Open.
The third seed, who is making his debut at the ATP 500 event, overpowered Kukushkin as he quickly found his range on the hard courts in Astana. He stepped inside the baseline to strike his forehand through the court and looked comfortable at the net, closing out points efficiently to advance after 83 minutes.
"It was a great match from my side," Tsitsipas said. "I started off with a great few games in the match, keeping my consistency and being very accurate at certain points. Overall it was a great performance and I am happy with the way things went and I am looking forward to the next one."
Tsitsipas has now earned 50 tour-level wins this year, lifting titles in Monte Carlo and Mallorca. The Greek has also improved his ATP Head2Head series against the 34-year-old to 4-0 and will next meet Italian qualifier Luca Nardi after the #NextGenATP star defeated qualifier Alexander Shevchenko 7-6(4), 6-2.
The World No. 18 was competing for the first time since he reached the semi-finals at the US Open last month, but showed little sign of rustiness to triumph after one hour and 31 minutes. Khachanov will face Marin Cilic or Oscar Otte in the second round.
Watch Tuesday Astana Highlights:
Did You Know?
Tsitsipas is seeking his first ATP 500 title this week in Astana. He has reached eight finals at this level, but has yet to prevail.