Tsitsipas Reaches Second Round In Rotterdam

Stefanos Tsitsipas (photo: ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament)


Stefanos Tsitsipas opened his title bid at the ABN ARMRO World Tennis Tournament on Tuesday with a 7-6(4), 7-5 victory against Egor Gerasimov from Belarus in Rotterdam. The No. 2 seed from Greece sent down six aces and won 73 per cent of his first-service points to advance to the second round after one hour and 54 minutes.

“I had to play more consistently and also what I increased in the [key] moments was the speed of my ball, which felt kind of floppy before. He had a solid game, he was serving well at times. He wasn’t missing a lot, so it was difficult,” Tsitsipas said. “I think once I put in my head that I needed to fight and I [couldn’t] take [any] single moment for granted, things changed and I felt the confidence.”

Tsitsipas will next take on Hubert Hurkacz from Poland, who beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 7-6(6) in one hour and 46 minutes.

Russians advance

Earlier in the day at the Rotterdam Ahoy, World No. 8 Andrey Rublev extended his winning streak at ATP 500 events to 16 matches by beating US-American qualifier Marcos Giron 7-6(1), 6-3. The No. 4 seed withstood nine aces and broke his opponent’s serve two times to prevail after one hour and 18 minutes.

“It was a very tough match against Marcos, a qualifier who’d already played a couple of matches before,” said Rublev. “It was my first match indoors and I felt a bit tight in the first set.”

Rublev led the 2020 ATP Tour with five titles and tied for tour-lead with 41 wins, sweeping Doha and Adelaide to become the first player since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004 to capture trophies in the opening two weeks of a season. The Moscow native added consecutive ATP 500 titles at the Hamburg European Open, in St. Petersburg and Vienna.

Rublev will next take on former World No. 1 and 2009 Rotterdam champion Andy Murray.

“Andy is a true legend and I have a really good connection with him,” said Rublev. “I really like him as a person and as a player. He destroyed me once in the past (2017 Australian Open). I’m sure we’ll have great, long rallies and it will be a fight.”

In other action, Rublev’s compatriot Karen Khachanov beat eighth seed and 2015 titlist Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 32 minutes.

“To play against Stan, especially in the first round, is always tough,” said Khachanov. “I am really happy with the win, but there are always things you can improve upon. Mentally, I feel ready and I’m in good shape, so I hope to get some match wins.”

The 21-year-old from Moscow will next take on British qualifier Cameron Norrie.

RESULTS – MARCH 02, 2021
Men’s Singles – First Round
[2] S. Tsitsipas (GRE) d [SE] E. Gerasimov (BLR) 76(4) 75
[4] A. Rublev (RUS) d [Q] M. Giron (USA) 76(1) 63
K. Khachanov (RUS) d [8] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 64 75
B. Coric (CRO) d [WC] B. Van de Zandschulp (NED) 64 76(4)
A. de Minaur (AUS) d J. Millman (AUS) 61 64
[Q] J. Chardy (FRA) d U. Humbert (FRA) 46 76(5) 76(4)
H. Hurkacz (POL) d A. Mannarino (FRA) 63 76(6)

Men’s Doubles – First Round
[2] N. Mektic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO) d [WC] R. Haase (NED) / M. Middelkoop (NED) 62 76(3)
[3] W. Koolhof (NED) / L. Kubot (POL) d [PR] B. McLachlan (JPN) / K. Nishikori (JPN) 75 36 10-6
K. Krawietz (GER) / H. Tecau (ROU) d [4] M. Melo (BRA) / J. Rojer (NED) 63 36 11-9
P. Herbert (FRA) / J. Struff (GER) d F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN) / H. Hurkacz (POL) 67(5) 63 10-8

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
First Round – [3] [WC] A. Zverev (GER) vs A. Bublik (KAZ)

Not Before 12:30 pm
First Round – [1] D. Medvedev (RUS) vs D. Lajovic (SRB)

Not Before 2:30 pm
Second Round – A. de Minaur (AUS) vs K. Nishikori (JPN)
First Round – Possible Court Change – S. Gille (BEL) / J. Vliegen (BEL) vs [WC] P. Tsitsipas (GRE) / S. Tsitsipas (GRE)

Not Before 7:30 pm
Second Round – [WC] A. Murray (GBR) vs [4] A. Rublev (RUS)
Second Round – K. Khachanov (RUS) vs [Q] C. Norrie (GBR)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
First Round – T. Paul (USA) vs L. Sonego (ITA)
First Round – [6] D. Goffin (BEL) vs J. Struff (GER)
Quarterfinals – J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) vs [3] W. Koolhof (NED) / L. Kubot (POL)
First Round – A. Davidovich Fokina (ESP) vs [5] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)

Not Before 7:00 pm
First Round – [1] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs H. Kontinen (FIN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)