One of the stories of Roland Garros was the form of Stefanos Tsitsipas. I love watching this guy play, being one of the minority in Madrid last year watching him take apart Nadal was magnificent!
He has the pieces, just putting them all together is where he is at. It is easy to forget he only turned 22 a couple of months back.
Not many 22 year olds can boast a record which is:
Rogers Cup – finalist 2018
Australian Open – semi-finalist 2019
Madrid Open – finalist 2019
Rome – semi-finalist 2019
Shanghai – semi-finalist 2019
Cincinnati – semi-finalist 2019
ATP Finals – champion 2020
French Open – semi-finalist 2020
He has multiple wins over Djokovic, Federer, Zverev and Thiem as well as a win of Nadal in Rome, he has a lot to shout about.
I did not expect too much from Stefanos in Paris but I was excited by what I did see.
Especially against Djokovic we saw him push for those openings going wide on the forehand and the backhand up the line. It comes with a risk though and it was that cross court backhand in particular which was a little loose in big moments. I do like watching Stefanos in full flow but his shots are soo precise it can leak at times.
He is quite an aggressive player on the baseline and there were eighteen groundstrokes which went about 50cm past the Djokovic baseline and gave away cheap points.
I do think we will see another gear from Stefanos in the future, I do think he maybe over-plays points. He is a very good finisher at the net and constructing points but I think he needs to hit a flatter ball. The average height of the ball on his winners dropped from around 6.5 – 7.2 feet to 5-5 – 6.1, there was also a dip in the RPM in the sets he won by about 200-350.
His aggressive tennis does force errors from opponents but also from himself. The inside out forehand does a good job, the backhand is a Hollywood backhand but the errors are costly and were in this match against Djokovic. For someone who is aggressive and good at the next those 20 points less won than Djokovic of rallies under four shots was a stand-out. I said he likes to construct points but he has to find a way of dismantling his opponent early on and not get tangled up.
Points Won – 0-4 shot rally – Djokovic 96, Tsitsipas 76
Points Won – 5-8 shot rally – Djokovic 44, Tsitsipas 43
Points Won – 9+ – Djokovic 32, Tsitsipas 30
It’s soo close and then those early stages proved a problem. A bit of pressure on return or not enough ruthlessness in returning can quickly take your chance away.
It is a process after all but getting to that level of winning shorter rallies more regualrly will be key to progressing to the next level.