Tsitsipas savours atmosphere in Hamburg win over 'idol' Cuevas

By Sports Desk September 24, 2020

Stefanos Tsitsipas enjoyed having fans watching his match so much that he forgot he needed to win as he defeated childhood 'idol' Pablo Cuevas 7-5 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Hamburg European Open.

The ATP 500 clay-court competition was given special permission by local authorities to allow up to 2,300 people to attend on each day, with the tournament originally postponed in July due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And Tsitsipas relished having fans in attendance, which, along with playing against someone he idolised as a youngster, created the conditions that caused him to lose focus for a little while.

"I have a lot of respect for him. He is a very difficult opponent to face, particularly on this surface," Tsitsipas, 22, said of his 34-year-old opponent. "He is a good friend and one of my idols growing up. It was a great match and I enjoyed it.

"There was a certain point in the match when I forgot I needed to win, as I was enjoying the game and the atmosphere, the crowd. I was playing with positive vibes and energy."

Tsitsipas will now meet Dusan Lajovic, who swept aside Karen Khachanov in emphatic fashion, winning 6-1 6-2 in just over an hour.

Casper Ruud was similarly impressive as he saw off Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-3, and he will meet Ugo Humbert – the Frenchman having eliminated Jiri Vesely 6-4 6-3.

 

Related items

  • Zverev clinches back-to-back titles with victory in Cologne Zverev clinches back-to-back titles with victory in Cologne

    Alexander Zverev sealed his second ATP title in the space of a week as the German overcame Diego Schwartzman in the Cologne Championships final.

    World number seven Zverev beat Felix Auger-Aliassime to claim the Cologne Indoors title on October 18 and continued his fine form in the city with a 6-2 6-1 triumph on Sunday.

    Schwartzman had denied Auger-Aliassime the chance to avenge his previous defeat but was never a match for in-form Zverev, who hit nine aces – to his opponent's zero – and saved the only break point he faced.

    After an even start, Zverev nosed himself ahead with a break of Schwartzman's serve in the fifth game of the opener, with another concession from the Argentine following.

    Zverev swiftly wrapped things up with his first set point, though Schwartzman rallied to gain a break point in the opening game of the final set.

    It was an opportunity the world number nine failed to grasp, however, and Zverev made him pay with some clinical shots, rounding off the victory – and his second title of 2020 – with a supreme forehand down the line.

  • Humbert defeats De Minaur for second ATP Tour title Humbert defeats De Minaur for second ATP Tour title

    Ugo Humbert captured his second ATP Tour title by defeating Alex de Minaur 6-1 7-6 (7-4) in the European Open final.

    After saving four match points to book his place in the final, world number 38 Humbert charged to victory in an hour and 38 minutes against the eighth seed.

    The Frenchman joined Jiri Vesely, Reilly Opelka and Novak Djokovic as the only players in 2020 to have won a title after staving off a match point in the tournament.

    Humbert produced a spectacular forehand on the run before claiming his second break of the first set, which he sealed despite facing two break points.

    De Minaur saved two break points at 4-4 in the second but paid the price for losing four straight points in the tie-break after taking a 3-1 lead, with Humbert sealing the win courtesy of a brilliant volley.

    "It is one of my biggest wins," said Humbert. "I am super happy to win my second title this year against a really great player. I was aggressive like the previous matches and I am super happy to do it.

    "Tennis is completely crazy sometimes. I don't know what happened today, it was a really nice level, a great match."

  • Sabalenka too strong for Azarenka in Ostrava final Sabalenka too strong for Azarenka in Ostrava final

    Aryna Sabalenka thrashed compatriot Victoria Azarenka in just over an hour to win the Ostrava Open in emphatic fashion on Sunday. 

    The first WTA Tour final between two players from Belarus did not provide the contest many had hoped for, Sabalenka prevailing 6-2 6-2.

    Azarenka had to fight hard to hold serve in the opening game but was broken in the fifth, triggering a run from Sabalenka that saw her storm through to take the first set.

    The third seed continued to dominate in the next, easing into a 4-1 advantage against an opponent who appeared to be struggling physically. 

    A medical timeout was required for Azarenka and while she grabbed a break back to briefly close the deficit, Sabalenka went on to seal victory after 68 minutes on court. 

    It is a seventh WTA title for the 22-year-old, this latest success sealed with an ace. She had already triumphed once in 2020, having won in Doha in February.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.