Tsitsipas expects tough fight from Murray at US Open

Greek third seed says he will have to play ‘good tennis’ to beat Briton in first round

AFP August 28, 2021


Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas expects a relentless fight from three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray of Britain in their first-round match in next week's US Open.

Tsitsipas came close to capturing his first Grand Slam title at this year's French Open, grabbing a two-set lead over top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the final before falling in five sets.

Now the 23-year-old from Athens is set for a first career matchup against Murray, a 34-year-old Scotsman who won the 2012 US Open and the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon crowns as well as 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medals.

"He's still on," Tsitsipas said. "He's trying to be back on the tour last couple of weeks. He's someone that has been putting a lot of work to get back and has been playing very good tennis to be standing where he's at right now.

"I'm going to go for it, try my chances against him. He's someone that won't give up. I'll have to bring some good tennis from my side."

Tsitsipas was asked about how he thinks he would fare in a US Open meeting with Djokovic, which could only happen in the final, when the Serbian star would be playing for a calendar-year Grand Slam and an unprecedented 21st men's career Slam singles title.

"I'm focusing on what's next. This is way too deep to look into," Tsitsipas said. "Got to stay in the moment. He's someone that has a good run on the Slams right now.

"Me personally, I just try to stay in the moment and get to play the best in each single match that I will have the opportunity to play here."

It's a lesson well learned from last year's US Open, when Tsitsipas lost to Croatian Borna Coric in the third round after squandering six match points and being a break up in the fifth set.

"It taught me a lot of things," Tsitsipas said. "It was important that that happened. Very unfortunate it happened here.

"I never thought it would have been possible to go through something like this. But I was very close. For me that was more of a win than a loss because in a way I really earned to be in that position that I was... maybe I got a little bit unlucky, I didn't manage to find ways to close it in the best way.

"I saw it as a positive loss, despite me being so close from winning that match. I guess it built strength and gave me belief that things will get better."

Tsitsipas is among a group of rising young stars all chasing their first Grand Slam crown, including Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev and Tokyo Olympic champion Alexander Zverev of Germany.

"All of us, we're in that kind of path. We share the same goals and aspirations," Tsitsipas said. "I believe all of us have good game to get to Grand Slam titles.

"It's important we're able to showcase that level of tennis in these kind of tournaments as best as possible to represent our generation of tennis in the best possible way."


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