Great things were expected of Stefanos Tsitsipas going into Wimbledon after what was an impressive couple of weeks at the French Open.
Few would have contemplated Tsitsipas falling at the very first hurdle at the All-England Club, and now it’s back to the drawing board for this talented player.
Tsitsipas Falls Flat After Paris Praise
It was unsurprising to see Tsitsipas as one of the main contenders in the tennis odds going into Wimbledon, and plenty of punters will have been hoping for great things from the Greek star. Tsitsipas shone at the French Open, as he showed he can compete on what is deemed to be the most physically demanding surface, and went on to reach the final at Roland-Garros.
The 22-year-old found himself two sets up in his maiden Grand Slam final, but Novak Djokovic proved why he is world number one by coming back to claim a 19th major title. Following the defeat, Tsitsipas was making all the right noises about how confident he was to adapt his clay-court game to the pristine grass surfaces of Wimbledon. American Frances Tiafoe had different ideas, and it was the 23-year-old who caused the biggest shock in the opening round at SW19 to win 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
What Went Wrong?
Despite feeling positive about playing on grass before the tournament, Tsitsipas admitted after his defeat to Tiafoe that he felt going from clay to the Wimbledon surface is “the biggest challenge in our sport”. The Athens-born star admitted his preparations for Wimbledon were not what they could have been after going straight from his five-set thriller against Djokovic in Paris to his encounter with Tiafoe. Getting a few matches under his belt to remove any lingering doubts after narrowly missing out on the Paris title might have served Tsitsipas well, in hindsight.
Tsitsipas highlighted he should have possibly played pre-Wimbledon tournaments at Mallorca or Eastbourne to get up to speed. Punters will expect to see Tsitsipas featuring at these competitions in the future, as he looks to learn lessons after another disappointing run at Wimbledon. It was Thomas Fabbiano who defeated Tsitsipas in the opening round of the previous Wimbledon tournament in 2019, and now he has a 3-4 record at the All-England Club.
Time For a Response
Tsitsipas will need to dust himself down quickly as he looks to bounce back on hard-court surfaces ahead of the US Open at Flushing Meadows. The world number four has not progressed further than the second round of the Grand Slam event in New York, and Tsitsipas has plenty to work on between now and the final major event of 2021.
Having just reached his first Grand Slam title this year, Tsitsipas is still learning on the job. There is no doubt that this athlete in his prime has a bright future ahead of him, and many will feel it’s a case of when, not if, Tsitsipas will be crowned a Grand Slam champion in the years to come.