Wimbledon: Stefanos Tsitispas bows out after shock first-round loss against Frances Tiafoe

It was but a few days ago that the Greek star played in an intense Roland Garros final against world number 1 Novak Djokovic.

Frances Tiafoe in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/Wimbledon)

The world’s oldest tennis tournament served up a shock resulted of massive proportions on Monday. Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was knocked out in straight sets by American tennis player Frances Tiafoe in the first round. Tsitsipas has never had that good a performance on grass but this result was beyond unexpected. It was but a few days ago that the Greek played in an intense Roland Garros final against world number 1 Novak Djokovic. Had the match been a tight affair, the result would have still been understandable, but a straight sets loss for the French Open finalist is astonishing, to say the least. Props must be given to Tiafoe who left his heart out on Court 1. The scoreline at the end of the match read 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the American’s favor.

As the stats go, the game seems to have been a tight affair. However, it was Tiafoe who managed to take his chances in the crucial moments, something Tsitsipas failed to do in the match. The Greek managed to score 15 aces, over twice of Tiafoe who scored seven. The American also had more double faults at three than Tsitsipas who had conceded just the one.

The third seed had a slightly higher win percentage on the first serve at 73% than Tiafoe’s 70%. However, the American held a clear advantage over the second serve. He had a win percentage of 70% in the second serve whereas Tsitsipas could only manage 50%. Tiafoe managed to win four out of eight break points whereas the Greek, surprisingly, could not convert even one of his seven. The American also won more service games with 14 than the Roland Garros runner-up, who won 11.

TIAFOE AT HOME ON GRASS

Tiafoe has had a decent run of form ever since a disappointing first-round exit at the French Open. On that occasion, he had lost to fellow American Steve Johnson. Immediately following the clay-court Grand Slam, Tiafoe participated in the Challenger Nottingham competition. He emerged victorious in the competition after winning the final against Denis Kundla.

The difference between the two players surely comes down to the level of comfort on the playing surface. Tsitsipas has never been one to excel on grass courts, as his history would suggest. Tiafoe, on the other hand, focused entirely on improving his game on grass immediately following the French Open. He played in three grass-court competitions before Wimbledon and had good performances in all of them. The American won one, reached the quarter-finals in another, and the round of 32 in the third.

Even so, one expects a player of Tsitispas’ caliber to brush aside first-round opposition with comfort. It will be back to the drawing board for the Greek as he is left to ponder about his dreadful performance at The Championships. He will have a lot of time to get his game sorted out before the US Open. It still is a devastating loss nonetheless and it might take a while before he mentally recovers from it.

For Tiafoe however, the result is something he might not even have dreamt of the night before. It was an outstanding performance in every facet. To beat a top seed is already considered highly impressive, but to do it in straight sets with such a dominating performance simply shows how tough a player the American is.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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