How Stefanos Tsitsipas Was Denied Imminent Top 10 Return Next Week

How Stefanos Tsitsipas Was Denied Imminent Top 10 Return Next Week

by Nurein Ahmed

A fortnight ago, Stefanos Tsitsipas exited the world's Top 10 for the first time since breaking that barrier in 2019.

Tsitsipas' stay within the elite cohort of men's tennis also helped preserve the record of at least one single-handed player being ranked in the world's Top 10 since the rankings began in 1973. Since 2021, he was the only player with a one-handed backhand in the Top 10.

But that record ended in mid-February when Tsitsipas left the Top 10 for the first time in five years. It was expected to be a momentary dip because Tsitsipas was not defending many points in the coming weeks.

Tsitsipas, however, failed to defend his Los Cabos title, with the tournament getting a new spot on the calendar this season. He was ousted in the semifinal by Casper Ruud. The Greek finished his stay in Mexico by playing in Acapulco, where he was beaten again, this time by eventual champion Alex de Minaur in the quarterfinal.

That was the match that Tsitsipas will reflect with a hint of disappointment because de Minaur went on to retain his title and cement his Top 10 ranking at the expense of the Greek star. Just 40 points separate them in the standings.

It looked like Tsitsipas had the match on his racket. He had beaten Alex de Minaur the last ten times they played each other without reply. And after blitzing through the opening set 6-1, the writing seemed to be on the wall.

But nobody beats de Minaur 11 times in a row, as the Aussie suggested during the post-match interview. He clawed his way into the contest and finished off strongly to get his first win in the series. Tsitsipas, therefore, remains in 11th spot. It is still possible that he could rejoin the Top 10 at the end of Indian Wells.


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