"It wasn't working out for me at all at the beginning..." Stefanos Tsitsipas had nervously said as he entered the first round match with Spain's Jaume Munar. The Greek had thought he could take a slight breather when he led 3-0 in the opening set, but slowly the Spaniard came to life giving Tsitsipas shotmaking techniques he couldn't handle.
The games quickly were tied at 4-all as the Greek felt his momentum fade away with the set going to Munar.
Stefanos Tsitsipas had faced stressful times before the French Open.
The Australian Open, Rotterdam, Dubai and Cincinnati were few tournaments that Tsitsipas hadn't had successful results.
But he had captured the Open 13 title away from the young Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and making it to the final of the German Open gave the Greek positivity in what he could accomplish at Roland Garros. Tsitsipas really didn't get his spark, confidence, timing and strategies together until he had lost the second set in Paris.
When things can hardly get worse, most times they improve and it did for the Greek who had a wake up call starting in the third set. The Greek had led by 3 before but his winning recipe continued to flourish and he'd claim the third set 6-1.
Winning brings confidence and the Greek's body language and positioning on the court began to be more fluid and solid. There was a strange leveling between the two players. Munar thought if he'd poured on his diabolical techniques he would have won the match.
But this wouldn't be the case if Stefanos Tsitsipas had anything to do with it. Winning the first set gave him the hunger to do more and he did. It was that fourth set that made Munar feel his chances were fading fast. Timing is everything and the Greek might have had an advantage on gaining insight to his shotmaking by winning two straight sets at the end of the match.
Tsitsipas started being more effective in applying pressure and aggression to his shots. The Spaniard had lost a lot of his sting and swagger at the end because the Greek showed great aggression with the right amount of offensive and defensive shots to capture his victory over a defiant opponent in a three hour slugfest that resulted in a well deserved victorious first round.