Stefanos Tsitsipas sails to Mallorca quarter-finals | TUSEN


Could this be the week that Stefanos Tsitsipas finds his best form on grass?

The second seed got off to a strong start Wednesday at the Mallorca Championships, where he beat Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. He didn’t face a break point in his hour and 23 minute victory.

“[My] serve [is] very important on this kind of courts. I think I was handling situations on my serve very well,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. “I felt a bit better in the rallies. I felt like after my first serve I was really able to get behind the ball and pick the right spots. It was I guess very difficult for the opponent to be able to adapt to that. I did it very well. I was very dedicated to that. It was really good for me from start to finish.

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Pepperstone’s ATP-ranked No. 6 player dominated behind his first serve, dropping just five of his points behind his first delivery in the match (29/34). The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion also defended well on his second serve, claiming 74% of those points, thanks in large part to his aggressive first-strike tennis.

Tsitsipas has now swept all three of his ATP Head2Head encounters against Ivashka this year, with those matches taking place on hard, clay and grass courts respectively.

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The Greek will next face American Marcos Giron, who beat his compatriot Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. Both Giron and McDonald played college tennis for the UCLA Bruins. Tsitsipas beat Giron 6-3, 6-4 in the Acapulco quarter-finals this year.

“He has the game for the grass courts, I’ve played it before,” Tsitsipas said. “I hope for a battle.”

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