Tsitsipas Loses To De Minaur For First Time Despite Winning First Set Easily

Tsitsipas Loses To De Minaur For First Time Despite Winning First Set Easily

by Jordan Reynolds

Stefanos Tsitsipas is out of the Mexican Open in Acapulco after Alex de Minaur beat him for the first time in 11 meetings.

This contest was a repeat of the final in Los Cabos last year. Tsitsipas won that match in straight-sets to claim a 10th consecutive win against de Minaur, who recently replaced the Greek No. 1 inside the Top 10.

The two-time Grand Slam runner-up was in good form in his previous two contests in Acapulco. Tsitsipas eased past Roman Safiullin in the opening round, who had beaten Tsitsipas in their only previous meeting.

That was followed by another strong showing against Flavio Cobolli. Tsitsipas did have to overcome a nervy ending to claim victory, but still got the job done in two sets.

Despite the head-to-head record, world No. 9 de Minaur always going Tsitsipas' biggest challenge at the event so far. He proved that by leaving Tsitsipas stunned in the final two sets.

De Minaur actually made the perfect start by breaking in the first game of the match. However, things went badly wrong for the Australian after that in the first set. Tsitsipas immediately broke twice to eradicate his opponent's early momentum,

The world No. 9 was struggling to find the Tsitsipas backhand regularly, and the Greek teed up forehands to dominate the rallies. De Minaur also made a string of errors, and another Tsitsipas break saw him take the set 6-1.

The conditions in Acapulco are slow, and both players struggled to land first serves in the first six games of the second set. Each player also stepping in very effectively on the second serve.

These factors led to an incredible five breaks in the first six games of the set. That gave de Minaur a 4-2 lead, and he made no mistake from there. He took the set 6-3, and had of finally beating Tsitsipas.

Both players started the deciding set better on serve, but trouble beckoned for Tsitsipas. Consistent hitting from de Minaur saw him get the first break in the fifth game of the final set and seize the initiative.

The crowd tried to lift Tsitsipas. He was still fighting hard and saved three break points in his next service game to keep himself a chance. However, he was struggling, and could not live with the Australian's gritty style.

De Minaur broke Tsitsipas again to seal a 1-6 6-3 6-3 victory. The Greek will have to try and put this behind him and respond well in Indian Wells next week.


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