Greek tennis professional Stefanos Tsitsipas began his Australian Open 2021 campaign with a comfortable victory on Tuesday.
With much Greek community support, the fifth seed Tsitsipas locked horns with French veteran Gilles Simon in his opening round match at the Rod Laver Arena.
Simon struggled with double faults throughout the match. On the other hand, Stefanos crushed his 36-year-old opponent with his service and forehand. To confirm his place in the second round, the 22-years-old man from Athens merely lost four games in the three sets(6-1, 6-2, 6-1).
“My level is good so far. I feel good with my service games, and I think I am returning really well. I have a clear picture of where I want to return and start the point, so I think I get the upper hand from the very beginning of the rally, which gives me a lot of confidence,” Tsitsipas said in an on-court interview.
“I Have Had More Experience On The Tour Than Him(Kokkinakis)”: Stefanos Tsitsipas
For a third-round spot, World No.6 will now face wild card entrant Thanasi Kokkinakis. The 24-years-old host claimed his first victory at Home Open since 2016 after defeating South Korean Kwon Soon-woo in the straight sets(6-4, 6-1, 6-1).
When asked about his next round opponent, Tsitsipas replied, “We have played a lot. We have practised a lot, and I have known him for years. He has struggled with injuries in the past, and now he is back. I feel like he is playing well. It is a serious match.”
The 2019 ATP Finals Champion continued, “He is playing on home soil as well, so that is something that I have in the back of my head when I go out there on the court… I have had more experience on the Tour than him, and I can use that in my favour but, in a way, I feel like he doesn’t really have much to lose.”
Thanasi Kokkinakis landed 19 aces and converted six of seven break points in his opening round match on Tuesday.
“He is playing in front of a crowd that loves him, and he has played some perfect matches here,” the 2020 French Open semi-finalist concluded.