Stefanos Tsitsipas wary of the Jiri Lehecka threat in Rotterdam

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Stefanos Tsitsipas wary of the Jiri Lehecka threat in Rotterdam

World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted it took him time before he broke the barrier of Alex de Minaur. Tsitsipas, seeded at No. 1, handed a 6-4 6-4 loss to de Minaur to reach the Rotterdam semifinal. Tsitsipas realized his sixth break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, before serving out for the opener in the 10th game.

Tsitsipas then started the second set with back-to-back breaks but de Minaur got one break back in the fourth game. However, Tsitsipas kept his focus as he held on to his serve the rest of the way to book a straight-set win.

“There were moments today when I was literally hitting the ball really hard, almost hitting the lines back-to-back, and he was able to get those balls back, and not only get them back but also counter-attack which was very impressive to say the least," Tsitsipas said after the win, per the ATP Tour website.

"You have to be patient, you’ve got to wait and see if he can do it over and over again”.

Tsitsipas was patient and it paid off

De Minaur showed strong resilience at the start of the match and it took time for Tsitsipas to get adjusted.

“I took my time, I tried to understand what works for me and what doesn’t, and with the right momentum, with the right intention, things kind of paid off," said Tsitsipas. "I was able to get ahead in the score, which gave me a lot of confidence, and I think my serve was very good today, it gave me a lot of points and applied a lot of pressure to him."

Tsitsipas will be fighting against qualifier Jiri Lehecka for a place in the final. “He [Lehecka] has been on a very good winning streak," said Tsitsipas. "I think he’s a young talent that can play really good tennis.

It’s never easy playing someone who you haven’t faced before, so match preparation will be very important heading towards tomorrow’s battle”.