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"I got really close to my best offense and showed incredible attitude in last game" - Stefanos Tsitsipas on passing Dimitrov test in Vienna R1

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action at the Erste Bank Open
Stefanos Tsitsipas in action at the Erste Bank Open
Sudeshna Banerjee
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World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas doesn't have fond memories of playing Grigor Dimitrov at the Erste Bank Open. The Greek suffered a three-set loss to the Bulgarian in the Round of 16 in 2020, which ended his quest for his maiden title in in the Austrian capital.

Incidentally, Tsitsipas was drawn to face Dimitrov once again in his Vienna opener this year. The Greek didn't have it easy and had to save three set points in the first set en route to a 7-6(6), 6-4 win.

In his post-match interview, Tsitsipas lavished praise on Dimitrov, calling him a "tough competitor." The Greek felt both players played at a very high level and was pleased with the attitude he showed in the last game when he broke the Bulgarian's serve.

“Grigor is a tough competitor and the level of tennis was really high today," Tsitsipas said. "That was great tennis that was being played during the entire match and I got really close to my best offense and showed incredible attitude in the last game, which was the most crucial of the match."

"I had my plan and with a lot of patience it worked out" - Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas attempts to hit a backhand at the Erste Bank Open
Stefanos Tsitsipas attempts to hit a backhand at the Erste Bank Open

Grigor Dimitrov had three chances to close out the first set in the tiebreak. Tsitsipas showed brilliant net skills to block Dimitrov's first backhand passing shot at 6-3. The Bulgarian then fluffed a forehand to squander the second of his two set points. Dimitrov still had one more set point at 6-5, but he once again failed to convert due to a forehand error.

Tsitsipas then earned a set point at 7-6 and converted at the first time of asking to take the opener.

Tsitsipas was happy that his persistence paid off. The Greek credited his patience and his ability to consistently put pressure on his opponent for the win.

"I set my mind to do something and I kept doing that over and over again," he said. "That what I'm most happy about today. I had my plan and with a lot of patience it worked out. Just consistently putting pressure on certain parts of the court."
#Tsitsipas: "I like the court here in Vienna: it's not extremely fast and it's not very slow".#ErsteBankOpen https://t.co/iuMjh3TSYK

Tsitsipas, who will face his Wimbledon 2021 conqueror Frances Tiafoe next, also admitted that he is enjoying the pace of the courts in Vienna.

"I like the court here in Vienna: it's not extremely fast and it's not very slow," he said.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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