Stefanos Tsitsipas battles with time ahead of the Australian Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas skipped his first singles match at the United Cup

by Jovica Ilic
Stefanos Tsitsipas battles with time ahead of the Australian Open
© Jason McCawley / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

World no. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas delayed the start of 2024. Tsitsipas skipped the United Cup clash against Chile's Nicolas Jarry, playing only the mixed doubles duel. Stefanos has been dealing with a back injury for months, retiring against Holger Rune at the ATP Finals in November and hoping for a better run in the next couple of weeks.

Tsitsipas hopes to play against Canada on Wednesday, saying he felt good on the court during the mixed doubles clash. Stefanos experienced a minor issue while battling alongside Maria Sakkari. However, he admitted it was nothing serious, hoping to embrace two encounters against Canada.

Sakkari and Tsitsipas stepped on the court in the decisive clash versus Chile, beating Daniela Seguel and Tomas Barrios Vera 7-6, 3-6, 10-6 in an hour and 41 minutes. The Greeks prevailed in the opener before losing ground a bit in the second set.

They bounced back in the deciding match the break, winning it 10-6 and delivering a win for their country.

Stefanos Tsitsipas skipped the United Cup singles duel against Nicolas Jarry.

Tsitsipas battled hard in the closing stages of 2023 despite issues, losing tight semi-final duels in Antwerp, Vienna and Paris.

Stefanos fell to Jannik Sinner in the first round-robin clash in Turin before facing Holger Rune. The Greek stayed on the court for 17 minutes, struggling with the pain and ending his season. Tsitsipas could not carry his bags while leaving the court, knowing he would require some time to fix the issue and play his best tennis again.

Stefanos was among the players to beat in Australia last January, earning ten consecutive wins and reaching the Australian Open final.

Stefanos Tsitsipas & Maria Sakkari, United Cup 2024© Jason McCawley / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The Greek led his country at the United Cup, beating Grigor Dimitrov, David Goffin, Borna Coric and Matteo Berrettini, coming from a set down two times.

Stefanos used a favorable draw in the opening rounds in Melbourne before facing Jannik Sinner in the last 16. The Greek prevailed in five sets and took down Jiri Lehecka and Karen Khachanov, reaching a Major final. Tsitsipas battled against a nine-time champion Novak Djokovic and suffered a 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 loss in two hours and 56 minutes.

It was a tight clash, with Novak delivering two breaks and losing serve once. The Greek missed his chances in sets two and three, finishing runner-up and missing his first Major crown. If they both feel well, Stefanos will kick off his 2024 season against Felix Auger-Aliassime on Wednesday.

Stefanos Tsitsipas Australian Open