Tsitsipas Tames Paire in Acapulco First Round
In his eighth appearance as the top seed at an ATP Tour event, Stefanos Tsitsipas was in cruise control in his Acapulco opener on Tuesday night. The Greek easily accounted for Frenchman Benoit Paire at the the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC, 6-3 6-1.
Paire’s compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert had ended the two-time defending champion’s run in the Open 13 Provence semi-finals in Marseille last week. But Tsitsipas quickly moved on in Mexico, as he opened his account with a second victory from three ATP Head2Head meetings against Paire.
“I didn't know what to expect from Benoit today,” Tsitsipas said. “I think it's kind of tricky playing a tournament you haven’t played before.
“I felt very responsible and very truthful to the way I was playing and the way I was fighting so that was really nice to see. The crowd brought all the energy, they backed me up, they supported me throughout the entire match.
“That is always important when you're a newcomer into tournaments. That was something that felt great playing that match.”
While the 22-year-old’s 13 winners were two fewer than the flashy Frenchman’s, he hit just 16 unforced errors to his opponent’s 24. He was far more effective on serve, too, as he claimed 27 of his 32 first-serve points and saved both break points.
Nine double faults proved especially costly for Paire, and he managed to win only five points against the Greek’s first serve throughout the 70-minute affair. It was Tsitsipas’s 11th win of 2021, following back-to-back semi-final runs at the Australian Open and in Marseille.
He will carry a 2-all ATP Head2Head record into his next match against John Isner. A win would book a quarter-final berth against either #NextGenATP contender Sebastian Korda or No. 7 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.
“He's a guy that serves really well so that's going to be the biggest element and the one thing that I'll really have to resolve during that match,” he said of Isner. “I really hope I can play some good matches in Acapulco and get some love from the fans. It is going to be a tough one that's for sure.”