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Australian Open: stopped at the end of last season, Tsitsipas wants to move forward

Coué method? The Greek assures him in any case.

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Australian Open: stopped at the end of last season, Tsitsipas wants to move forward

Coué method? The Greek assures him in any case. The lights are green when defending a bunch of points. Seeded 7, the native of Athens, under pressure, has 1200 points not to lose in Melbourne, as the reigning finalist. The 25-year-old was dominated in the final in three sets last year by Novak Djokovic. A successful Australian Open and here we go again? The Australian Grand Slam is in any case the one that is most successful for the Athenian.

In six appearances, he reached the semi-finals four times in the Antipodes. He was to face Matteo Berrettini in the first round. The latter, constantly injured, had withdrawn and was replaced by the 129th in the world Zizou Bergs. After losing a set against the Belgian this Monday in the first round, Tsitsipas secured 5–7, 6–1, 6–1, 6–3, in 3 hours of play, and reassured himself: “The way I recovered is pretty crazy. I got over it quicker than a lot of other players I've discussed the subject with. I did everything I could to get back on court as quickly as possible. Now everything is fine and I know I'm going in the right direction. »

Also read Australian Open: on video, the very unusual point won by Stefanos Tsitsipas

Good foot, good eye, he added: “It was great to show a good level of play again. I felt much better on the pitch and I stayed focused. In the second and third set, I produced some great tennis. I hit well, took the initiative in the rallies.” Forgotten then is the back injury contracted at the end of last season during the Masters which forced him to withdraw from his second group match last November, leaving the court after only three games against Holger Rune. Sad epilogue to a gloomy second part of the season marked in particular by a fiasco at the US Open and an elimination in the 2nd round against the modest Dominic Stricker.

The Greek displayed his happiness with his partner Paula Badosa throughout the year, but on the court he lost the flame, too often accepting defeat without rebellion. His one-handed backhand, certainly very aesthetic, became a real weakness last season, targeted by all his opponents. Very mediocre in return as well (he only won 20% of his return games according to ATP stats), he displayed technical weaknesses unworthy of a world top 10. Still coached by his father Apostolos, after a short interlude with the Australian Mark Philipoussis, the 25-year-old Greek seemed to regress, having only won one title in Los Cabos (ATP 250).

He only beat one member of the top 10 last season (Alexander Zverev at Bercy). Faced with the two nuggets of the new generation Alcaraz and Sinner, he suffers from the comparison. He is down 5-0 in his meetings with the Spaniard and has lost both of his duels against the Italian in 2023. In 2024, will Tsistispas become a major player again? Facing Jordan Thompson, recent defeater of Rafael Nadal in Brisbane, the Greek has the opportunity to confirm his rise to power to play the leading roles again.

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