Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame a grass-court battle against American Marcos Giron at the Mallorca Championships on Thursday to reach his first tour-level semi-final on the surface. The Greek struggled to find his top level against Girón, but improved his game when it was necessary to advance 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 35 minutes.
"It was a lot of work today. It wasn't easy," Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. "I had to deal with the heat, I had to deal with my opponent playing very well. It was a great physical effort. I had the fighting spirit."
In a tight clash at the ATP 250 event, Tsitsipas showed his fighting spirit in a tense third set. The second seed saved the two break points he faced to hold at 1-0, before earning the decisive break in game eight to improve to 2-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against Giron.
Tsitsipas, who has claimed 38 Tour wins this season, will play Benjamin Bonzi after the Frenchman beat German Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 6-4. Earlier this month, the World No. 6 scored wins on grass over Dominic Stricker in Stuttgart and Bonzi in Halle.
He now has a 4-2 record on the surface in 2022. The grass-court tour culminating in Wimbledon includes this ATP 250 in Mallorca. The Mallorca Championships, which offers €900,000 in prizes, was going to hold its first edition in 2020 but had to be postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, it was the first time that an ATP Tour tournament was played in Mallorca since 2002 and it is also the first on grass organized in Spain. Roger Federer dominated the grass courts at Wimbledon, winning five successive titles between 2003 and 2007 before being beaten by Rafael Nadal in a five-set epic in the 2008 final.
Federer dominated the grass courts at Wimbledon
Patrick Mouratoglou attributed Roger Federer's ability to "effortlessly float on the grass" as a major contributor to his success. "First, his footwork. Its a major contributor to his success.
Federer is known to effortlessly float on the grass. He attacks the ball forward and follows his shots into the court," Mouratoglou said. The 52-year-old coach also revealed how the Swiss legend manages to align his centre of gravity to be perfectly balanced all the time.
"His centre of gravity, contrary to other players, is always perfectly aligned between his hips, allowing him to be perfectly balanced all the time," Mouratoglou explained.