Tsitsipas Sets Blockbuster Kyrgios Clash
Stefanos Tsitsipas set a blockbuster clash with Nick Kyrgios on Thursday when he cruised past Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the third round at Wimbledon for just the second time.
The Greek looked sharp throughout his two-hour and four-minute clash against Thompson on Court 1, opening his shoulders to dictate from the baseline. The fourth seed, who is making his fifth appearance at Wimbledon, struck 29 winners and broke the Australian six times to improve to 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.
“It was a great match today. I got the crowd involved and even though I am not a Brit, I really felt the love from the crowd and that pushed me,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview.
“Last year was a completely different story [compared] to this year,” he added. “I wasn’t really that involved with [my movement] behind the ball. It is great to see that evolution this year. I feel grass suites my game perfectly. I am happy when I see the level of tennis I played today. As long as everything works, I am happy to see where that will lead me.”
Tsitsipas clinched his first grass-court title in Mallorca last week and has quickly found his feet in London following the short journey from Spain. His victory over Thompson means he now holds an 8-2 record on the surface this season, having won just eight tour-level matches on grass before 2022.
The World No. 5 has captured a Tour-leading 42 wins this season and will next play Australian Kyrgios after the six-time tour-level titlist downed Filip Krajinovic in straight sets. Kyrgios holds a 3-1 lead over Tsitsipas, having won their most recent match on grass in Halle earlier this month.
“I feel that there isn’t a single person here who doesn’t know Nick. We have played each other and had great matches against each other in many tour-level matches,” Tsitsipas said as he looked ahead to his clash against Kyrgios. “I have great respect for his game, that he can utilise his talents. Really fight when he really wants to. It is going to be a challenging one on grass. He is a big opponent on this surface.”
Under the roof on Court 1, Tsitsipas quickly gained control, demonstrating great footwork to dictate on his forehand. The Greek was strong off that wing throughout, while he showcased great touch at times up at net to outmanoeuvre Thompson. Following a commanding first two sets, Tsitsipas remained patient in the third set, gaining the decisive break in the 12th game to seal victory.
Tsitsipas’ best performance at Wimbledon came in 2018, when he reached the fourth round. The 23-year-old, who lost to Frances Tiafoe in the first round in 2021, is now 5-4 at SW19.
World No. 76 Thompson was aiming to advance to the third round for the second time, having reached that stage 12 months ago. Earlier this month, he captured the ATP Challenger Tour title in Surbiton, while he reached the championship match at Nottingham.