Stefanos Tsitsipas returned to action on the ATP Tour at the 2023 Indian Wells, but it wasn't a winning return for the Greek.
Previously, the world no. 3 lost to Jannik Sinner in Rotterdam, and prior to the 2023 Indian Wells, Tsitsipas revealed that he's still not 100% fit and therefore, he doesn't want to pretend he has any chances to succeed. Regardless, the loss of the second-seeded player already in the second round was a big surprise.
The 24-year-old took on Jordan Thompson from Australia, who came to Indian Wells after his dominant ATP Challenger triumph, and in the first round of the ATP 1000 event, he defended Gael Monfils, who was returning after a seven-month layoff.
Thompson was clearly the better player early on. He had four chances to break the 2023 Australian Open finalist in the first set, but he couldn't use any. The opening set reached a tie-break, and the Australian had yet another chance to prove his qualities and he took it.
Thompson won the tie-break 7-0 to win the first set and after hitting 21 winners and making only two unforced errors in the first set, his opponent was surely looking worried about what's next.
In the second set, the world no. 87 couldn't maintain the same level as Tsitsipas also improved and secured a quick one-break lead early on. That was enough for him to win the second set 6-4 and force a decider.
Thompson came out firing again in the third set. He hit 15 winners and made only six mistakes as he forced yet another tie-break. This time, it wasn't so dominant as the first one as Tsitsipas was the first player to lead.
Yet, Thompson was able to fight back to win the match 7-6(0), 4-6, 7-6(5) in two hours and 40 minutes and book a third-round spot at the 2023 Indian Wells. He'll meet the 32nd-seeded Maxime Cressy or Alejandro Tabilo in the next round.