Tired Tsitsipas loses first singles match since elbow surgery as Greece go down to Argentina in ATP Cup
The world No 4 took the court for his singles match but went down to 13th ranked Diego Schwartzman in three sets
World No 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas’ first singles match since his elbow surgery in late November started off well but ended in a disappointing three-set loss to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in at the ATP Cup in Sydney.
Schwarztman, ranked 13th in the world, scored a 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 win to give Argentina a 2-0 victory over Greece at the ATP Cup after Federico Delbonis won the first singles match over Michail Pervolarakis in straight sets.
Tsitsipas starts well with a set and a break lead
On Saturday, Tsitsipas had pulled out of his scheduled singles match against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz but partnered with Roman Safiullin to give win the doubles and help Greece beat Poland 2-1.
Even as there was speculation whether Tsitsipas would play singles on Monday, the Greek eventually took the court and appeared to very few after effects from his elbow surgery, which he revealed had bothered him for a couple of years. He went toe-to-toe with Schwarztman as both players held serve for the first 12 games to take the first set into a tiebreaker.
Tsitsipas’ serve held strong as he hit five aces in the first set, averaging a speed of 205 km/h for his first serve with a maximum speed of 220 km/h, statistics well in line with his pre-surgery standards. He also won 80 percent of his first serve points and did not face a single break point in the first set as he held firm to win the tiebreaker 7-5 and then broke his opponent in the first game of the second set.
Schwartzman roars back to win in three sets as Tsitsipas tires
However, Schwartzman, known for his counterpunching skills, broke back immediately and grew stronger in confidence even as Tsitsipas appeared to rush his shots and tire.
Schwarztman broke for the second time in the eighth game and then held his serve to win the set 6-3 and move the match into a decider.
Bolstered by his second set win, Schwartzman broke Tsitsipas in the first game of the deciding set and held for a 2-0 lead. Tsitsipas, who was hitting his serve and groundstrokes cleanly in the first set, seemed to have lost some of his zip and found it difficult to break the Argentine’s defenses.
The Greek managed to save three breakpoints in the seventh game but once Schwarztman held for 5-3, the Argentine once again piled the pressure on the Tsistispas serve. The Argentine came form 0-40 down in the ninth game to break on his first match point and complete the 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 win in two hours and 43 minutes. In the final set, Tsitsipas managed to get only 51 percent of his first serves in as compared to 62% in the first set.
Delbonis wins first singles for Argentina
In the first match of the tie, Federico Delbonis gave the Argentines a 1-0 lead with a 7-6, 6-1 win over Michail Pervolarakis This was Delbonis’ second consecutive singles win this week, having beaten Aleksandre Metreveli in straight sets on Saturday.
Greece are now 1-1 at the ATP Cup and will play Georgia in their final group encounter on Wednesday.
Greece 0 – 2 Argentina
- Delbonis (ARG) b. Pervolarakis (GRE): 7-6, 6-1
- Schwartzman (ARG) b. Tsitsipas (GRE): 6-7, 6-3, 6-3
Poland 3 – 0 Georgia
- Majchrzak (POL) b. Bakshi (GEO): 6-1, 6-1
- Hurkacz (POL) b. Metreveli (GEO): 6-7, 6-3, 6-1
- Walkow / Zielinski (POL) b. Bakshi / Tkemaladze (GEO): 6-7, 6-2, 10-6
Spain 3 – 0 Norway
- Carreño Busta (ESP) b. Durasovic (NOR): 6-3, 6-3
- Bautista Agut (ESP) b. Ruud (NOR): 6-4, 7-6
- Davidovich Fokina / Martinez (ESP) b. Petrovic / Hellum-Lilleengen (NOR) : 7-6, 4-6, 10-7
Serbia 1 – 0 Chile
- Krajinovic (SER) b. Tabilo (CHI): 6-4, 3-6, 7-6
- Lajovic (SER) – Garin (CHI)