Stefanos Tsitsipas Escapes Early Scare: Wilander's Wake-Up Call for Greek Star

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Escapes Early Scare: Wilander's Wake-Up Call for Greek Star
Stefanos Tsitsipas Escapes Early Scare: Wilander's Wake-Up Call for Greek Star

The 5th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas had to dig deep on Court Philippe-Chatrier in the Roland Garros opening round. Stefanos took down Jiri Vesely 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 in three hours and 13 minutes, overcoming a 5-3 deficit in the opener and denying four set points in the fourth set's tie break to emerge at the top.

Mats Wilander called Stefanos' performance a 'wake-up call,' saying he should be pleased with a four-sets triumph and expecting more from the Greek in the upcoming rounds. Vesely played his first ATP tournament since the last year's US Open, giving his everything and barely missing a chance to force a decider.

The Czech led 5-3 in the opener before dropping four straight games. He bounced back in the third set and looked good to prolong the encounter in the fourth set's tie break before Stefanos climbed back and sealed the deal. Stefanos played better behind the first and second serve, facing seven break points and losing serve three times.

He turned 35% of the return points into 11 break chances, seizing four and prevailing after a thriller. The Greek landed 58 winners and 30 unforced errors, producing efficient tennis in the shortest rallies up to four strokes.

The Czech kicked off the action with four comfortable holds and broke in the third game for 5-3. Vesely served for the opener at 5-4 and lost the ground, allowing Tsitsipas to break back at 15 and gain a boost. Jiri lost serve again in the 12th game, with Stefanos rattling off four straight games and stealing the set.

Stefanos served well in the second set and created two break points in the sixth game with a smash winner. Jiri saved them before missing a routine volley on the third. Tsitsipas confirmed the break with a hold at love for 5-2 and held at 15 in game nine with an ace to wrap up the set and build a massive advantage after an hour and 25 minutes.

Vesely delivered five comfortable holds in the third set and waited for a chance on the return.

Mats Wilander shared his thoughts about Stefanos Tsitsipas' win.

Tsitsipas denied a break point in the eighth game with a service winner and served to stay in the set at 4-5.

He sprayed a backhand error and gave Vesely two set points. Jiri seized the first following Stefanos' terrible forehand to wrap up the set 6-4 and prolonged the duel. They traded breaks in the fourth set's games three and four, and Tsitsipas faced the first ultimate challenge in the eighth game.

He denied two break points with winners and moved closer to the finish line after earning three break chances in the next one. Vesely saved them and held for 5-5 and more drama. The set went into a tie break, and Jiri earned three set points at 6-3.

Stefanos denied them and erased the fourth with a service winner for 7-7. The Greek forced the Czech's error for 8-7 and his first match point. Stefanos cracked a forehand crosscourt winner to seal the deal and move into the second round.

"It's a wake-up call for Stefanos, who will try to avoid such tight matches in the upcoming rounds. He did not finish his job in straight sets but avoided a decider. Is it good for his confidence? Let's see. In a way, it's a perfect start, and now he has a couple of days off.

The crowd enjoys watching Stefanos play. He moves well and plays aggressive tennis. Stefanos said that he must go for his shots, which takes work on Court Philippe-Chatrier. It's a tough court to compete on. Big credit to Vesely; I did not see this coming. He did not move well, but he knew how to handle the points while he was in charge," Mats Wilander said.

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