Tsitsipas Beats Botic In Antwerp Return

  • Posted: Oct 19, 2023

Tsitsipas Beats Botic In Antwerp Return

Gaston saves three match points to upset Struff; Hanfmann edges Thiem

What a difference six years makes…

In his previous appearance at the European Open in Antwerp, Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the 2017 semi-finals as a 19-year-old qualifier. On Thursday, he returned to the ATP 250 as the top seed and lived up to that billing with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Botic van de Zandschulp.

“It took some time. I didn’t have the best start that I would have expected but what a great way to end it,” Tsitsipas said after recovering an early break in the pair’s first Lexus ATP Head2Head matchup. “I was trying to get in there despite the early break and found a really good way through towards the very end. I felt like every point was a fight; every game there was an opportunity to do something. I was trying to maintain that consistency and work towards the victory.”

It was a welcome win for the Greek, who has not recorded multiple singles victories at a tournament since he won the Los Cabos title in August. He will bid to break that streak in Friday’s quarter-finals against fifth seed Yannick Hanfmann, who edged Dominic Thiem 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to close the day’s play in Antwerp.

Tsitsipas improved to 14-5 this season in his opening-round matches by battling out of a 2-4 hole in the opening set against van de Zandschulp. The Greek won nine of 11 games from that point to take command on centre court.

While neither player sustained his best level for long periods, Tsitsipas improved throughout the one-hour, 36-minute match and comfortably closed out the win behind strong serving. He did not face a break point in the second set after saving four of five break points in the opening set.

In addition to his singles campaign, Tsitsipas is also through to the doubles semi-finals in Antwerp alongide brother Petros Tsitsipas.

Earlier on Thursday, France’s Hugo Gaston saved three match points to upset second seed Jan-Lennard Struff 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(11). Gaston, who saved 12 of 16 break points in the nearly three-hour match, clinched victory on his fourth match point. A total of six match points went begging in the decisive tie-break, three for each man, before Gaston booked his place in his fourth tour-level quarter-final with a big inside-out forehand.

The lefty Gaston will face another German in the quarters: Maxamilian Marterer, who beat Nuno Borges 6-3, 7-6(3).

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