Focused Tsitsipas Ready For Final Battle

  • Posted: Oct 08, 2022

Focused Tsitsipas Ready For Final Battle

Greek chasing third tour-level title of season

Stefanos Tsitsipas enjoyed his time hitting lightly with Carlos Alcaraz at a tennis court built outdoors at the Baiterek monument in Astana earlier in the week.

Indoors at the Astana Open, Tsitsipas’ extended stay means the Greek has now surpassed Alcaraz’s win tally and goes atop the ATP Tour with 53 victories in 2022 after beating Andrey Rublev 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The third seed said he would like to match his idol, Roger Federer, and get to 80 or 90 wins in one of his future seasons.

And while it won’t happen this campaign, Tsitsipas is bound to be jubilant after his unprecedented — in terms of their head-to-head — comeback against the fifth seed. The pair had met 12 times going back to their junior days and the winner of the first set won every single match.

It all changed at the National Tennis Center, with Tsitsipas hanging tough as his opponent grew increasingly frustrated.

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If Rublev produced several highlight-reel forehand returns and forehands in general, Tsitsipas excelled with his all-court game and was more solid at the conclusion.

Strokes, tactics and technique were only part of the equation, however.

“I think the heart was very decisive in the end, especially when things got tough,” said Tsitsipas. “My concentration level spiked up. I was completely living in the moment and playing every single point.

“I think I reached the biggest point of zoning in the last few games of the third set and that helped me slow down time, helped me anticipate a bit better.”

Last year’s Roland Garros finalist saved the first two break points of the decider at 2-2.
He took control by breaking for 5-3, and was untroubled in serving out the semi-final.
Rublev flung his racket to the ground in the final game after his forehand went into the net for 30-0.

Tsitsipas has captured the Nitto ATP Finals title and a pair of ATP Masters 1000 titles, so call it a statistical anomaly that he hasn’t yet claimed a 500 level tournament, going 0-8 in those finals.


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To land that first 500 crown, he will have to beat Novak Djokovic, who has a winning record against the Greek.

“It’s been unfortunate,” said Tsitsipas. “I’ve been unable to win those eight. I was very close at least in two or three of them.”

He is right. Three went to third sets, including against Rafael Nadal on clay in Barcelona last year when Tsitsipas even held a match point.

“I wouldn’t say I have choked in any of them. I’d say it’s just bad luck that I haven’t been able to get a victory in one of them.

“Overall, I’m pumped to be playing in those finals, every single chance I get I try to put my best out there. I don’t think there’s a reason to feel any pressure or tightness in those situations because finals showcase the best of the tournament during that week, and it’s an extra reason to go out there and play my best.”

No matter the result on Sunday, Tsitsipas said he will leave Astana impressed with the new 500 event.

“It’s a great event,” said Tsitsipas. “I think they have done a great job of putting things together and making this very convenient for all us players.”

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