Stefanos Tsitsipas Earns First-Ever Quarter-finals Ticket at French Open After Dismissing Grigor Dimitrov in Straight Sets

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In a battle to seal a spot at the quarter-finals of the French Open 2020, World No.6, Stefanos Tsitsipas, was up against the World No.20, Grigor Dimitrov. The mighty Stefanos Tsitsipas held his nerves against Grigor Dimitrov to win the exciting encounter in straight sets with the final scoreline of 6-3, 7-6, 6-2.

The 2 players had not faced each other before this match and it was Tsitsipas who made it 1-0 in his favor.

Set-1: Dimitrov fought but Stefanos Tsitsipas was better

Dimitrov added the first points to the scoreboard. But, after he was 0-30 down, the Greek player made a comeback with some good forehand winners and accurate serves. He won four straight points and won the first game of the match.

It was Tsitsipas who broke first in the next game itself, taking a 2-0 lead after the second game. The first deuce also came in this game but was shortly capitalized by the World No.6.

Tsitsipas won four straight points in the third game, leading the set 3-0 at this stage. It was becoming difficult for Dimitrov. Serving after losing 3 consecutive games, he saved 2 break-points, taking the game into deuce.

Eventually, he didn’t lose the momentum and won his first game of the match, narrowing the scoreline to 3-1. His happiness was short-lived as Tsitsipas hit hard again in the next game to take the lead to 4-1.

Even though Tsitsipas was dominant and ruthless, Dimitrov was finding his rhythm. He won the next game to reduce the lead to 4-2. But, it was the Greek who won 4 back-to-back points yet again in the seventh game. He was just one game away now.

However, Dimitrov was not done yet. He fought and somehow brought the margin closer at 5-3 with Tsitsipas leading. The Bulgarian exhibited a variety of skills and some great moves during the match.

Dimitrov won 3 break-points in the next game and it looked as if he could turn the tables. Unfortunately, he failed to capitalize. It was Tsitsipas who won the game and the set, 6-3, after earning his only set point. The set lasted for 39 minutes.

Set-2: A nail-biting finish in the Tie-Breaker

The exact opposite happened this time. Tsitsipas was the one who won the first point but Dimitrov won the first game. However, the World No.6 leveled the scoreline at 1-1 in the very next game.

Serving in the third game, Dimitrov hit a brilliant backhand winner to take the lead again. Tsitsipas equalized it yet again in the next game.

Grigor Dimitrov at the French Open 2020
Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in action during his fourth-round match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

The fifth game was a little different, peculiar, and a bit longer. Tsitsipas won 3 break-points but failed to win the game on all 3 occasions.

The game saw deuces, and it was the Bulgarian who emerged as the winner at the end, leading 3-2 at this stage. But, what was not any different in the set was that Tsitsipas again leveled the scoreline, this time at 3-3.

The story continued in the seventh game as Dimitrov once again took the lead at 4-3. Tsitsipas snatched away the lead again and tied it up at 4-4. It was going neck-to-neck so far.

Nobody had broken in this set until now. In the 9th game, Dimitrov made the scoreline 5-4 again and was soon brought back to 5-5 by Tsitsipas. The possibility of a tie-breaker looked certain, and it took place as the 22-year-old leveled the scoreline again at 6-6.

In the 20 point tie-breaker, Tsitsipas enjoyed a great start, winning 3 straight points. But soon, Dimitrov pulled it back, winning 2 points.

He soon equaled it at 4-4 in the tie-breaker. Tsitsipas was making too many unforced errors. Nevertheless, he was the first to earn a set-point when he was leading at 6-5.

Dimitrov somehow survived it. Later, it was Dimitrov who earned the set-point on 2 occasions but failed to win the set. Finally, Tsitsipas won the 72-minute long set, 7-6, on his third set-point, winning the tie-breaker 11-9.

Set-3: Top-level gameplay by Tsitsipas

An in-form Tsitsipas began the set by winning the first point. Subsequently, he went on to win the first game.

He broke in the second game, extending his lead to 2-0 in the third set. The third game also witnessed sheer dominance from the Greek. He won 4 straight points and widened the gap with 3-0. It looked as if the fifth-seeded player wanted to finish the match as soon as possible.

Stefanos Tsitsipas at the French Open 2020
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his fourth-round match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov REUTERS/Christian Hartmann.

Meanwhile, Dimitrov was looking restless and impatient. He was losing control of his shots. Hope returned to him for a short while as he managed to save 2 break-points. He eventually won the game and made the scoreline 3-1.

But, it was too late. The Greek player again won the next game, giving Dimitrov absolutely no chance. He struggled, he fell down, but he never lost that determination to win.

Tsitsipas gained the break-point in the 6th game but could not win, bringing the scoreline to 4-2 with the Greek leading. But, he did not let the advantage slip down in the deuce of the 7th game and was now just 1 game away. It didn’t take him long, and he soon earned the match-point in the very next game. He capitalized on it and won the set 6-2. The final scoreline was 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 in favor of Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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