Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted that it wasn't easy playing world No. 76 Egor Gerasimov in the Rotterdam first round. Tsitsipas, ranked at No. 6 in the world, claimed a straight-set win over Gerasimov but he had to fight hard for it as in the end he won 7-6 (4) 7-5.
Tsitsipas blew an early first-set break but win three consecutive points from 4-4 in the tie-break to win the opener. In the second set, Gerasimov once again lost his serve early but once again broke back. Unfortunately for Gerasimov, he lost his serve again in the 12th game od the second set as Tsitsipas wrapped up a straight-set win.
"I had to play more consistently and also what I increased in the [key] moments was the speed of my ball, which felt kind of floppy before. He had a solid game, he was serving well at times. He wasn't missing a lot, so it was difficult," Tsitsipas said, per the ATP website.
"I think once I put in my head that I needed to fight and I [couldn't] take [any] single moment for granted, things changed and I felt the confidence."
Tsitsipas plays next Hubert Hurkacz
Tsitsipas will be fighting against rising Polish star Hurkacz for a place in the Rotterdam quarterfinal.
Tsitsipas and Hurkacz are no strangers to each other as the Greek leads their head-to-head record 5-1. "We've played a lot in the past. He's a great opponent, he's been giving me a hard time. It's a challenge going into that match," Tsitsipas said.
"He can serve well, he has a great backhand that he can play both cross and down the line, so I think that's one of his biggest weapons. His forehand, I would say he doesn't make a lot of mistakes from that side. But overall he's a very solid, very consistent player."