Paris, May 25 (EFE).- Fourth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas got off to a rocky start at this year’s French Open, finding himself two sets down before asserting control and eventually wrapping up a 5-7, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory in the wee hours of Wednesday over Lorenzo Musetti to advance to the second round.
Tuesday’s featured night match was one of the most entertaining contests of the first round, with both players showcasing their stylish one-handed backhands and also regularly interrupting the baseline rallies with drop shots.
The Greek star, who was last year’s Roland Garros runner-up, came into this year’s clay-court Grand Slam full of confidence after winning the Monte-Carlo Masters and reaching the Italian Open final.
But he found himself a set down due to his Italian opponent’s superior play on the big points and then faced a 4-0 deficit in the second set.
At that juncture of the match, the big-serving Greek had already had his serve broken on four occasions.
He only lost one more service game though the rest of the way to turn a complicated situation into a decisive victory.
“My serve was really off, maybe not the first few games of the match, but after it completely collapsed. It wasn’t there. That threw me off a lot,” Tsitsipas said afterward.
“Once I really found my momentum on the serve, my routines and everything, I knew that it can be a different match. I felt like I was serving better than him, creating more opportunities with my serve, pressing more. It would have been kind of not fair, from my perspective, to have a different outcome.”
Musetti also created a buzz on Court Philippe-Chatrier last year against Serbian great Novak Djokovic.
The talented 20-year-old, currently ranked No. 66, led the eventual champion two-sets-to-love in last year’s French Open round of 16.
But he only won one game over the final three sets before retiring due to cramps while trailing 4-0 in the final set.
Next up for Tsitsipas in the second round will be Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolar, who overcame French wildcard Lucas Pouille 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 on Tuesday. EFE