Tennis

Tsitsipas Returns to RG Third Round Hungry for More

Stefanos Tsitsipas is motivated by a simple mission statement: “Don’t wait for opportunity; create it.”

A commitment to forward thinking has empowered the Monte-Carlo Masters champion into his third straight Roland Garros third round without permitting a set.

Exerting his all-court acument, Tsitsipas won 26 of 27 trips to net in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 sweep of 103rd-ranked Spaniard Pedro Martinez scoring his sixth straight win on clay.

The fifth-seeded Greek, who fell in five sets to Novak Djokovic in the 2020 Roland Garros semifinal, faces his tallest test of the tournament in round three against 6’10 tower of power John Isner.  

“I’m sure he can serve well right now,” Tsitsipas said of Isner. “Also, I’m sure he’s a guy who likes to play on clay.

“You know, conditions are obviously the way they are. Just going to have to do my thing. Just have to find my way around it.”

Two-time Roland Garros runner-up Dominic Thiem fell in the first round opening up the bottom half of the draw where Tsitsipas resides. The man who held a championship point against Rafael Nadal on his home court in Barcelona this spring, is aiming for a trip to his third consecutive Grand Slam semfinal, but Tsitsipas knows there’s much work to do before another final four appearance and it starts with the dangerous Isner.

Like Tsitsipas, Isner has rolled through two rounds without permitting a set. In six sets, Isner has pounded 45 aces and erased all five break points he’s faced in victories over Sam Querrey and Filip Krajinovic. Isner, who once pushed king of clay Rafael Nadal to five sets at Roland Garros, said sunny, warm conditions create an even higher bounce for his confounding kick serve.

“I definitely prefer serving in hot conditions,” Isner said after topping Krajinovic today. “Most times here at the French Open, these are incredible serving conditions for me. I don’t think people realize how good of a surface clay can be for a guy like myself, especially if the weather for myself is cooperating. If it’s 75, 80 degrees and sunny, the ball is bouncing really high and the court is playing pretty fast. It’s very, very good conditions for me…

“These conditions out here are really tailor-made for me, I believe. I’ve played six sets and held serve all six sets, and I hope in a couple days’ time it’s going to be hot just like it was today.”

Photo credit: Roland Garros Facebook

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