The ATP500 tournament in Vienna, Austria started on Monday and already there was a shocker. Veteran Brit Andy Murray defeating fifth seeded Hurkacz in 3 sets to reach the second Round. There is however very low home presence in the main draw with Dominic Thiem missing this one through injury. Today I want to focus on the match between Indian Wells semi finalist Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and Tsitsipas of Greece, two players with a good all round game. Tsitsipas is having his best season yet ranked number 3 in the world and also not forgetting that Dimitrov claimed the scalp of US Open champ Medvedev in the Southern Californian desert. The hard court in Vienna looks slower than the ones in North America. This saw the match having a lot of rallies. Awesome to see both players employ the one handed backhand in this match to good effect. It generates a lot of depth in the shot plus also keeping the ball low at the net. Tsitsipas being the better of the two on clay, looked at home on the slow hard court especially at the net.
Check out first set 2-1 Dimitrov adv Tsitsipas. Just one break of serve the entire match, showing how evenly matched the two were. My point of the match was at 3-3(40-0).Tsitsipas couldn’t have hit that forehand cross any sweeter but the return(cum defensive shot) by Grigor sublime. The set eventually went to a breaker with only one mini break in it. Dimitrov blew three set points here(he blew 5 against the same opponent last year at same tournament) throwing his mental toughness in high pressure moments into question. Check out 6-3, his choice to go cross court instead of the lob was poor shot selection. Tsitsipas let off the hook , took it 8-6.
Both served well in this one, both well over 60% on first serve. So the guy who had the best chance of winning this one was the one who went for the big second serve. That guy was Stefanos. Check out the crucial tenth game at 5-4 on Dimitrov’s serve at 40-15. Right from the moment the ball left Grigor’s racquet he looked very uncomfortable. It was shot and played into Stefanos’s strength on the backhand. Losing a tie breaker after leading 6-3 is more like losing a set whilst leading 5-0, it is a major confidence crusher. But Dimitrov deserves credit for restricting Tsitsipas to just the one break. Another plus for him is the 10 Aces he hit for the match, his kick serve doing most of the damage.