World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted Benjamin Bonzi wasn't an easy test in Halle opener as he expects another tough battle when he meets Nick Kyrgios in his next match. Second-seeded Tsitsipas survived a scare in the Halle first round as he defeated 52nd-ranked Bonzi in three sets 7-6 (1) 1-6 6-3.
No breaks were seen in the first set but Tsitsipas opened a comfortable 6-0 lead in the tie-break, before realizing his second set point to win a tight opener. After losing the first set, Bonzi responded in a strong way as he broke Tsitsipas three times to force a decider.
However, easily losing the second set didn't impact much Tsitsipas, who broke Bonzi in the fourth game and held on to his serve the rest of the third set to seal the win. "He made it tough. It wasn't easy," Tsitsipas reflected, per the ATP website.
"I had to bring some good tennis at the end and I did. Everything was extremely close. I was really trying to find a little gap... those small opportunities that were somewhere afloat. It's one of those matches where I said to myself just go out and enjoy it.
It was very spontaneous and very free-spirited. Thats the right way to put it. It really brought something different out there today."
Tsitsipas on playing Kyrgios
In the round-of-16, Tsitsipas will be playing Kyrgios for the fourth time in his career.
Kyrgios is a grass court specialist and he owns a 2-1 head-to-head versus Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas expects a tough match but added he is fired up to go out and beat the Australian. "I can say playing him on grass for sure is going to be quite difficult," Tsitsipas said of Kyrgios, against whom he holds a 1-2 record with one hard-court match in each of the past three years.
"I'm just going to go out there and enjoy myself. Let's see what that brings. He's fired up playing on the grass-court season. I'm fired up too. I really hope to have a great match against him and be able to really sustain the level at its very highest."