Stefanos Tsitsipas survives tough battle to reach Indian Wells quarter-finals

Elsewhere, Alexander Zverev sent a warning to the rest of the field at the BNP Paribas Open by easily walking past Frenchman Gael Monfils in their fourth-round clash.

Stefanos Tsitsipas in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)

Stefanos Tsitsipas has continued his good run in the season by surviving a grueling three-set clash over Australian Alex de Minaur at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday. The Greek star had made the quarter-finals in Miami, and back-to-back semi-finals in Toronto and Cincinnati. He has now added Indian Wells to the list with a 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 win over the 22nd seed. The second seed overcame 40 unforced errors and finished with 34 winners, two more than De Minaur. He will next face unseeded Nikoloz Basilashvili.

“I feel like today’s game I was mostly pushing against myself rather than my opponent and it was one of those matches where I really had to get to the limit and show what I’m capable of when I’m in the red zone,” Tsitsipas said on court. “That was incredible the way I just stayed in the match. I had to go through so many difficulties in order to find a solution and I executed towards the end of the match.”

Tight contest

De Minaur had struggled to recapture his sharpest form after returning from a bout of Covid-19 post Wimbledon. He lost six of his subsequent seven singles matches before registering successive victories at Indian Wells. 

On Stadium 1, the pair traded early breaks before lifting their shot-making level. There was very little to separate the duo as the match went into a tie-break. It was De Minaur who took control of the tie-break as he raced to a 5/0 lead before sealing the set.

With the opening set in the bag, the Australian made things extremely difficult for the Greek star. De Minaur’s level slightly dropped towards the end of the set, as Tsitsipas secured the break and twice held set point on serve. But the Australian once again found a way to force another tie-break. The Greek player this time started brightly, taking a 4/0 lead before bagging the set.

With momentum on his side, Tsitsipas started brightly of the two to take a crucial 3-1 lead in the deciding set. There was no stopping the Greek sensation, as he went on to win the contest at the two-hour, 46-minute mark.

“I know there are a lot of seeds, which play great tennis. My biggest priority is to play my best against any player regardless of the ranking or status,” Tsitsipas said. “This week has been a difficult journey with lots of battles, two three-setters so far, so this is something I’m going to take as a learning experience and use it for something better in the tournament.”

Alexander Zverev trounces Gael Monfils

Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev sent a warning to the rest of the field at the BNP Paribas Open by easily walking past Frenchman Gael Monfils in their fourth-round clash. He clinched a 6-1, 6-3 victory over the 14th seed. 

“I did feel well on the court today. Obviously Gael is someone I haven’t beaten before so I know that I had to play my best tennis,” Zverev said on court. “I definitely was not far away even though I missed a few volleys, but apart from that I felt pretty good.”

“I always love [Indian Wells] but I’ve just never played well here. But I did well in Cincinnati as well where I’d never won a match before this year and then I won the tournament, so hopefully this can be a similar week for me. I’m looking forward to it. I’m feeling well, I’m playing pretty OK tennis and hopefully it can continue this week.”

Sportslumo Desk

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