Tsitsipas Begins Halle Campaign With Win

Stefanos Tsitsipas (photo: Terra Wortmann Open/Mathias Schulz)


Stefanos Tsitsipas opened his title bid at the Terra Wortmann Open with a hard-fought first-round win. The No. 2 seed of the ATP 500 grass-court event was solid in the early stages before overcoming a second-set lapse to clinch a 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-3 win over Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi on Tuesday in Halle.

Tsitsipas fired 14 aces and won 74 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 55 minutes.

“He made it tough. It wasn’t easy,” Tsitsipas said. “I had to bring some good tennis at the end and I did. Everything was extremely close. I was really trying to find a little gap… those small opportunities that were somewhere afloat.

“It’s one of those matches where I said to myself just go out and enjoy it… It was very spontaneous and very free-spirited. Thats the right way to put it. It really brought something different out there today.”

The World No. 6 from Greece, who fell to Andy Murray in the quarterfinals of last week’s Stuttgart ATP 250 tournament, will next take on Nick Kyrgios. The Australian wild card entry beat Daniel Altmaier of Germany 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and seven minutes.

“I can say playing him on grass for sure is going to be quite difficult,” Tsitsipas said of his upcoming opponent. “I’m just going to go out there and enjoy myself. Let’s see what that brings.

“He’s fired up playing on the grass-court season. I’m fired up too. I really hope to have a great match against him and be able to really sustain the level at its very highest.”

Auger-Aliassime outlasts Giron

Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime battled past US-American Marcos Giron 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 after two hours and 12 minutes. The 21-year-old fourth seed won 55 per cent of the total points played to prevail after two hours and 12 minutes.

“I had pretty negative thoughts at the end of that second set,” said Auger-Aliassime about the ups and downs in his game. “To be honest I don’t usually lose these types of sets, when I break twice. It’s not something usual for me on this surface especially. I just had to change my thoughts, trick my mind a little bit and think, OK, there is a third set to play, I haven’t lost yet and I am still on the court, so let’s try to think positive.”

Up next for Auger-Aliassime will be Mackenzie McDonald from the United States.

In the top half of the draw, Karen Khachanov rallied past fellow Russian Aslan Karatsev 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 53 minutes and will next oppose Laslo Djere of Serbia.

Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain benefited from the retirement of Marton Fucsovics from Hungary. The No. 7 seed was leading 6-2, 3-0 when Fucsovics was forced to stop playing. Bautista Agut will take on Dutch qualifier Tallon Griekspoor in the second round.