Tsitsipas begins Hamburg title bid with win

World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas made a successful return to clay by winning his first match at this year’s Hamburg European Open. The top seed in the ATP 500 tournament, who fell in the opening round at Wimbledon to US-American Frances Tiafoe, edged past World No. 59 Dominik Koepfer of Germany 7-6(2), 6-3 on Wednesday.

Both players entertained the enthusiastic crowd at the Rothenbaum Tennis Stadium with a solid performance and some aggressive tennis. Tsitsipas hit 27 winners and capitalized on three of his 14 break-point opportunities to seal the victory in one hour and 44 minutes.

“I think it’s fair to say that things were tricky today, as I faced a tough opponent who was willing to fight and give his best performance out there,” said Tsitsipas. “Things worked out for me at the end of the first set and towards the second set, I started losing it up and I felt more flexible in my game. Dominik is someone I haven’t played in a long time. We faced each other many years ago at the Futures Circuit. He has improved a lot since then. He has had an extraordinary year, climbing up the rankings and improved constantly. I am grateful to be in the quarterfinal. I am looking forward to what’s ahead. I am feeling my game quite well right now.”

Tsitisipas, runner-up at last year’s Hamburg European Open, received a great reception by the Hamburg crowd. “They have been very welcoming,” the 22-year-old wild card entry from Greece said.

“They appreciate the fact that I came back this year. It was quite challenging with the schedule and to adjust everything, but I am happy to be here. They show me so much love and support in every match. I feel like a local. The people make the atmosphere here awesome.”

Serbian duo advances

Tsitsipas will next take on Filip Krajinovic. The No. 6 seed from Serbia advanced to his third quarterfinal of the season following a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over 117th-ranked local wild card entry Philipp Kohlschreiber after two hours and 23 minutes.

“He is a great champion. I knew that it would become hard to play him here in Hamburg,” Krajinovic said. “I controlled the match in the first set, but he stepped up again and made some unbelievable shots. He deserved to win the second set. The third should be a little bit easier for me (after being 5-1 up). I lost a bit of focus and played some lose games, but that’s tennis and I am happy to be in the quarterfinal.”

In other action, Laslo Djere edged out Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild 7-6(1), 6-1. The 26-year-old Serbian, who finished runner-up to Lorenzo Sonego in Cagliari, Italy in April, broke his opponent’s serve four times to advance after one hour and 46 minutes.

Djere will next face third seed and two-time Hamburg champion Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, who received a walkover from Argentine lucky loser Sebastian Baez.

Up to 4,000 spectators allowed during the final weekend

A crowd of 2,300 fans flocked to the Rothenbaum Tennis Stadium on Wednesday to create a fantastic atmosphere, which will even improve during the upcoming weekend. After consultation with the local health authority as well as the Hamburg-Eimsbüttel district office, up to 4,000 spectators per day will be allowed to watch the matches on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18.

“We are very grateful that our hygiene and safety measures work so well and that we can therefore welcome up to 4,000 spectators daily on the final weekend. We look forward to exciting matches in best weather conditions,” said tournament director Sandra Reichel.

 

 

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