Stefanos Tsitsipas become first player to 40 wins this year in Hamburg
Greek tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas has become the very first player to win 40 games in the current calendar year, after his latest victory in Hamburg, in the ATP 500.
Currently sitting at World No. 4, Stefanos Tsitsipas made a winning start in Hamburg on Wednesday, beating Dominik Koepfer, 7-6 (2), 6-3, in his opening match at the ATP 500 clay-court event.
In what would become a landmark victory, he became the first player, man or woman, to reach 40 wins this year.
Following him is Andrey Rublev with 36 wins, Wimbledon Women’s Singles Champion, Ashleigh Barty with 35 wins, Wimbledon Gent’s Singles Champion, and veteran Novak Djokovic with 34 and Aryna Sabalenka, also with 34 wins this year in tour-level.
Only three other players have 30 or more tour-level wins on their scorecard this year: Ons Jabeur, who has won 33, Wimbledon Gent’s finalist Matteo Berrettini with 32, and Cam Norrie at 31 wins.
Check out for Novak Djokovic
Tsitsipas’ 40th win of the year wasn’t easy by any means. Playing his first match since a first-round exit to American player Frances Tiafoe at the Wimbledon last month, Tsitsipas dropped serve in the opening game of the match against Koepfer. But he broke right back for 1-all and found the range on his serve from there, losing just four points in his next five service games.
He brought up four set points leading 6-5 on the Koepfer serve, but the German fought them all off; one with a serve and volley and two with forehand winners. But Tsitsipas cruised through the tie-break anyway, putting the set away after 59 engaging minutes.
The No. 59-ranked German continued to battle, however, fighting off four more breakpoints to hold in the first game of the second set, but the two stayed on serve through 3-all. Tsitsipas then shifted gears one last time, breaking, holding, and breaking again to seal the deal.
“I think it’s fair to say that things were tricky today. I had an opponent who was willing to fight and give his best performance out there today,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “Things worked out for me. At the end of the first set and towards the second set, I think I started loosening up, and I felt more flexible in my game.”, he added.
“Dominik, he’s someone that I haven’t played in a long time, I think. We faced each other many, many years ago, back when I was in the Futures circuit. I don’t remember, but he has improved a lot since then, and I think he’s had an extraordinary year where he’s been climbing up the ranks and improving his game constantly.”, he said, praising his opponent, who he enjoyed playing with after a long period. “I’m grateful to be in the next round and looking forward to what’s ahead.”, said the Greek.
Tsitsipas finished the match with an even 27 winners to 27 unforced errors, and his forehand stroke was named the shot of the match. He was also precise and sharp coming in, winning 18 of 23 points at the net.
Know more about Rafael Nadal
The Greek tennis star has a quarter-final clash lined up with Filip Krajinovic from Serbia for his upcoming challenge. In their previous two meetings, Tsitsipas managed to stay 2-0 up against the Serb, but Krajinovic did manage to steal a set both times, so it will be interesting to see how things unfold when they meet again on Friday.
Should Tsitsipas go on to win the ATP 500 event, he’s currently playing in Hamburg this week; he’ll rise from world No. 4 to a new career-high of No. 3 dropping the great Rafael Nadal down to No. 4.
Previously, Tsitsipas became the first Greek player ever to reach a Grand Slam final at Roland Garros this year.
The Greek is also the only Top 10 player in action this week.