In Melbourne we saw the very best of Stefanos Tsitsipas. His win over Roger Federer was one of the highlights of the tournament, the performance and the atmosphere in Melbourne was electric.
Tsitsipas got there with controlled but emotional tennis. As of late his tennis so far on the clay has been a little erratic but why is that?
I love watching him play. One of my highlights of the Australian Open was him, it was stunning beautiful and the nerve he showed at such a young age on one of the biggest stages took some guts.
Right now it’s a bit messy and for me I believe he should be contending better on the clay. He was a semi-finalist in Barcelona last year but now has gone out early to Jarry who has now knocked out Zverev and Tsitsipas making him a very lucky loser.
In his match against Medvedev in Monte-Carlo the other day I described it as messy and it was.
I felt like the performance straight away had panic attached to it, Daniil Medvedev as we know is in good form and that backhand in particular has been jarring opponents but I felt when watching these two play each other that Stefanos had that in his mind immediately after a rally begun and looked like he was trying to go big too soon or end rallies early but picked out errors.
However this has been a theme of late, he had some good results post Melbourne in Marseille and Dubai but at Indian Wells, Miami and Monte-Carlo it just hasn’t happened and for me watching that composure is missing.
There isn’t anything wrong with his game overall but I genuinely believe Stefanos can go to Madrid, Rome and even Roland Garros and be considered a contender but needs to lose the erratic approach.
Easier said than done?
I don’t think so, he is getting in good positions but executing them poorly.
The inside-out forehand has been overcooked instead of controlled and penetrating it’s been launched into court and for me that doesn’t seem like a confidence issues but composure.
The other issue which comes down to composure as well is the fact that when he does go a break down or a set down recovery can be tough and you can see that frustration.
There is nothing wrong with being frustrated on court. In Melbourne in that marathon against Roger and those incredibly tense tie-breaks he held it together better than any 20 year old I have seen. We saw him get frustrated but he has high standards and time and time again he answered any questions thrown at him.
It’s amazing what he has done and he is only 20, I do hope we see a more composed player for the rest of the clay court season.