Tsitsipas Denies Machac, Sinner Also Advances To Vienna QFs

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2023

Tsitsipas Denies Machac, Sinner Also Advances To Vienna QFs

Fourth-seeded Tsitsipas to face Gojo in last eight

Stefanos Tsitsipas found a late surge to regain control of both his Erste Bank Open campaign as well as his Nitto ATP Finals prospects on Thursday, when he rallied past Tomas Machac in Vienna.

The Greek rallied to a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 second-round victory against Czech qualifier Machac to reach the quarter-finals at the Austrian ATP 500 for the first time in four attempts. After a confident start to the match, Tsitsipas had to rally from 1-4 in the deciding set against an inspired Machac to improve to 47-20 for the season.

“I had no choice but to fight,” said Tsitsipas. “I had a bad streak of consecutive points lost. He was really getting behind every ball and I felt like his movement was getting in the way of my creativity.”

With his one-hour, 58-minute win, Tsitsipas booked a last-eight clash with wild card Borna Gojo, and also consolidated sixth place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. The Greek is in pole position to claim one of the three remaining singles spots at the prestigious season finale, where he lifted the title in 2019.

“My eyes are towards the Nitto ATP Finals,” said Tsitsipas. “I’ve played there a few times, it’s a great tournament and I’m leaving my last breath out there on the court to earn a spot in Turin. I feel like with that kind of intensity and that kind of commitment I put into the game, there’s no reason for me not to believe that I can [qualify].”

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Tsitsipas appeared to have his maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting with Machac under control after taking the first set and he had not faced a break point all match when he lined up to serve at 4-5 in the second. After Machac delivered a sublime return game to snatch the set and force a decider, however, the Greek found himself in a second-round scrap.

Machac began to light up the Wiener Stadthalle with a stunning selection of shotmaking and the Czech looked set to spring an upset when he broke in the fourth game of the third set. He could not hold on for his maiden Top 10 win, however, as Tsitsipas won six of the final seven games to complete a victory in which he won 80 per cent (41/51) of points behind first serves.

Tsitsipas is 28-6 this year against players outside the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after his win against World No. 74 Machac. He can improve that record further by defeating Croatia’s Gojo, the World No. 77, when the pair clashes on Friday in the Austrian capital. Gojo earlier delivered a hammer blow to Tommy Paul’s Turin qualification hopes by downing the American sixth seed 6-3, 6-4.

Jannik Sinner enjoyed a more straightforward path to the last eight in Vienna, where the second seed moved past his good friend Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 6-4. The 22-year-old converted three of seven break points he earned to wrap a 93-minute triumph and improve to 4-0 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with Sonego. All four of those wins have taken place in 2023.

Sinner will take on Frances Tiafoe next as he chases his fourth ATP Tour crown of the season. He has now racked up a 21-4 record since the start of July, a tally which includes winning his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Toronto and his second ATP 500 title in Beijing.

Tiafoe rallied past in-form Frenchman Gael Monfils 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 after two hours and 11 minutes. Monfils last week captured his first title of the year in Stockholm and showed flashes of that level, but his American opponent stayed the course.

Tiafoe played Sinner two years ago in the Vienna semi-finals, winning that match 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. In their first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting since, the 25-year-old will try to level the pair’s series at 2-2.

The American is also trying to make a late run at Nitto ATP Finals qualification. Currently 16th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, Tiafoe would climb to 12th place by winning the title in Austria.

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