ATP Vienna: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Grigor Dimitrov Preview

Stefanos Tsitsipas Indian wells

Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No.1 seed at the ATP Vienna Open, had a tremendous run on the Tour during the first half of the 2021 season. However, the young Greek has fallen off the charts post the conclusion of the clay-court swing.

The 23-year-old was the champion at Monte Carlo, the first and only Masters 1000 title of his career, and the Lyon Open. He was also runner-up at Acapulco, Barcelona, and Roland Garros. But, thereafter, he has struggled to weave the magic one would have expected. He suffered a shocking first-round exit in straight sets at Wimbledon and a third-round exit at the US Open. His struggles continued at Indian Wells, where he to eventual finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarterfinal.

ATP Vienna Open

Nonetheless, the Vienna Open presents Tsitsipas with an ideal opportunity to regain his form and gather some steam ahead of the Paris Masters 1000 and ATP Finals.

At Vienna, Tsitsipas will begin his campaign against a tricky opponent in the form of Grigor Dimitrov. Their opening round contest promises to be a dazzling matchup.

The 30-year-old Bulgarian found a new lease of life in the Californian desert, taking down reigning US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and No.5 seed Hubert Hurkacz in three sets each at Indian Wells. He succumbed to eventual victor Cameron Norrie in the semifinal but can draw a huge amount of inspiration moving forward.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Grigor Dimitrov

Tsitsipas and Dimitrov share one victory apiece so far on the ATP Tour. The latter upset the former in the Round of 16 with a come-from-behind three-set win in Vienna last year.

Previously referred to as “Baby Fed,” Dimitrov has a sumptuous single-handed backhand, and his down-the-line backhand was one of the talking points in his wins over Medvedev and Hurkacz. When he is on the song, the Bulgarian’s game appears to be poetic, elegant, and classy. However, indifferent form has hampered his performances throughout his topsy-turvy career.

Against Medvedev at Indian Wells, Dimitrov clawed victory from the jaws of defeat after being a set and a break down. He showed tremendous resilience and fighting spirit. He will need that in abundance against Tsitsipas, too, who is himself never short of a fight.

Tsitsipas and Dimitrov exchanging single-handed backhand blows might be the feature of their clash. The Bulgarian, with a better variety in his backhand, holds a slight edge over the young Greek in this department.

If both the players can maintain high levels of consistency, one can expect this contest to be a physically taxing affair. The longer the battle lasts, the better it suits Tsitsipas, who is younger and fitter.

The young Greek is a grinder on the court. He will try to create opportunities to obtain an early breakthrough by putting pressure on Dimitrov’s service games. Dimitrov, on the other hand, takes a little bit of time to get a feel of the conditions and his opponents before rising to the occasion. This contrast in their playing styles spices up the contest, bringing in a sense of unpredictability to this clash.

Can Tsitsipas fend off the Bulgarian’s challenge to remain in pursuit of a maiden Vienna title? Or will Dimitrov–displaying his resilience, class, and experience–outsmart the No.1 seed?

A mouth-watering and dazzling contest is on the cards in the Tuesday as Tsitsipas aims to resurrect his indifferent second half of the season.

Main Photo from Getty.

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