Roland-Garros – Stefanos Tsitsipas disappointed after his defeat against Holger Rune: If I could replay this match…"

Roland-Garros – Stefanos Tsitsipas disappointed after his defeat against Holger Rune: If I could replay this match…”

He was the favorite at the bottom of the table to reach the final. But at the start of the second week of competition, Stefanos Tsitsipas has already disappeared. In line with what he had produced in his first rounds, the Greek experienced many slumps on Monday during his round of 16. But this time he could not save the day, the fault of a Holger Rune as hard-hitting and inspired as he was constant in what he offered. Faced with the young and talented Dane, he thus paid dearly for the lack of continuity in his game.

His 3rd round against Mikael Ymer was therefore only a lull. The finalist for the 2021 edition never managed to fully enter his tournament. “I really badly managed this match from the baseline. I missed too many returns, gave away too many free points, without giving myself a chance to engage the fight a little bit. I had a lot of difficulties the last few days finding my rhythm. I was very nervous on the court, very frustrated. I made some equipment changes, but I wouldn’t say it caused these problems, because I made that choice to progress and improve“, he noted after his defeat, appearing very quickly in a small crowded press conference room for the occasion.

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I wasn’t putting no pressure on her, it was ridiculous at a certain point

But Tsitsipas won a bunch of matches this spring on clay without having the best feelings in the world, especially on the backhand side. We remember in particular his quarter-final in Monte-Carlo during which he had recovered a hell of a deficit in the third set (from 0-4 to 6-4) against Diego Schwartzman, or even these two match points saved against Grigor Dimitrov in Rome. So why couldn’t he get away with it? Surely partly because of the quality of tennis offered by his opponent, but not only.

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The world number 4 bitterly regretted a lack of lucidity in the recovery. “He was serving well, but it wasn’t John Isner. But making all these mistakes or not finding enough length when returning from distance, it drowned me psychologically. (…) I didn’t put any pressure on him, it was even ridiculous to a certain point. I was stubborn, I didn’t want to change because this return position helped me in the past. But once I got closer to my line, I was a completely different player. I think if I had to play this match again, it would be very different. I wish that had come to my mind sooner. I reacted much too late.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas at Roland-Garros in 2022

Credit: Getty Images

Overtaken by younger than him but vengeful

Tsitsipas also did not seek excuses. No, he didn’t feel the added pressure of being considered the low-end favourite. Yes, everything was fine physically. So there remain these mysterious equipment problems that he did not want to specify and the feeling that his game is somewhat under construction at the moment. Even more worrying, the Greek seems somewhat overwhelmed lately by younger than him: after Carlos Alcaraz, it’s Holger Rune’s turn.

What upset him? “These kids really want to beat me because they’re chasing me. I also hunt the players in front of me, but I’m not in the same position as them. I’m hungry and I want to beat them too. Even more now that they beat me: I want my revenge.”

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