LONDON- Stefanos Tsitsipas opened his campaign for the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals with a straight sets 7-6 6-4 victory over the world no. 4 Daniil Medvedev. It was a tug-of-war between the pair, but Tsitsipas looked like the one in more control for the majority of the match. The 21-year-old Greek won 89% of his first serve points and did not allow Medvedev to have a single break point to regain some momentum in the match.
“I’m proud that I brought myself in the situation today that I proved that I was better today. It’s also a challenge to keep doing the same work. Putting the same effort the next time I’m going to face him. I will know he will be much more prepared. Much more aware of what he has to do against me next time,” said Tsitsipas.
“He’s a tough player. He’s a very difficult player to face [and] he’s not giving you an easy time when you’re out on the court. So it definitely means a lot. I knew that I had to work very hard. And had to be very much into the match, concentrated, focused, aware of every situation that I was facing.”
The 21-year-old Greek had never beaten the Russian before and was 0-5 coming in head-to-head. Their most recent meeting was a month ago in Shanghai where Medvedev beat Tsitsipas for the fifth straight time in straight sets 7-6 7-5.
“I knew that I was in good shape and in good form. [I] learned from my previous mistakes in Shanghai. I remember coming out of my match in Shanghai against him. [I said] to my coach that things are going to be different next time. And they did prove to be different.”
Though the pair appeared cordial at their handshake after the match, their frosty off-court relationship has been well documented. Especially after their confrontation at Miami earlier this year after the match at the net.
After Medvedev’s impressive hard-court run over the summer, Tsitsipas described Medvedev’s style as ‘boring’, and the Russian came back by saying he ‘cannot not take [Tsitsipas] seriously]
Tsitisipas commented on their relationship after his victory, “I respect him, for sure. That’s because he has been — he had a long way to come where he is right now. He’s a Grand Slam finalist, so that takes a lot of respect from me to him.”
“It’s not that I hate him. I guess — yeah, as he said, we will not go to dinner together.”
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