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Stefanos Tsitsipas claims Hubert Hurkacz was a "little bit lucky", says "one shot changed the psychology of the match"

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas
ANALYST
Modified 02 Apr 2021
News

Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a soul-crushing defeat to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open on Thursday.

Tsitsipas led 6-2, 2-0 at one stage and was within touching distance of going a double break and 3-0 up. But some clutch shotmaking and serving from Hurkacz helped him stay in the second set, before he eventually ran out a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victor.

Later in his post-match press conference, Stefanos Tsitsipas lamented the missed opportunity and highlighted how a small stroke of fortune changed the complexion of the match. When asked for his explanation of the turnaround in the second set, Tsitsipas lay the blame on two things - first his serve, and then an all-or-nothing forehand by Hurkacz that landed on the line.

"Well, there were two factors," Tsitsipas said. "One, I didn't manage to get my serve, which is the most important thing at that point. I don't even have to break anymore just managing my serve. This didn't happen."

Stefanos Tsitsipas then went into detail about Hubert Hurkacz’s break point saving forehand winner, which the Greek believes was a 'little bit lucky'. Tsitsipas even claimed he had not seen such a shot from Hurkacz all week.

Hubert Hurkacz
Hubert Hurkacz
"I don't know whether that contributed to him hitting the line on that second breakpoint that I had to go up or double break," Tsitsipas said. "I think I would be going out four one, serving for five one, and he hit that forehand on the line which was quite extreme in the very corner of the courts. So that was like probably a little bit lucky from his side, or...I didn't see that shot during the entire week and it happened on that breakpoint."

The shot that Tsitsipas referred to was played at 3-3, with Hurkacz serving at 15-40. But from his comments, it seems that Tsitsipas misremembered the game. The Greek had double break points at 2-0 up in the second set, but Hurkacz saved them with some big serving - and not the forehand winner that Tsitsipas talked about.

The 22-year-old went on to suggest that had that shot landed out, the match might have had a different result. He also revealed that he didn’t 'feel comfortable' after that point, and that the sheer accuracy of Hurkacz’s winner was firmly lodged in his mind for the rest of the match.

"So yeah, I'll probably say that I think it would be what I've been a completely different match if that shot landed out and not there, which was amazing from his side," Stefanos Tsitsipas added. "Knowing that you're five one down, I feel like the opponent will be completely crushed. There'll be zero hope for him. But still, I didn't feel comfortable after that. I felt like that was still somewhere in but in the back of my head."
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I feel like that was a lost opportunity that shouldn't have happened today: Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes that he played some of his best tennis up to that fateful point at 3-3, which reversed both players' fortunes. According to the Greek, that shot changed the 'psychology' of the match.

Stefanos Tsitsipas also rued the fact that he lost a match even though, at one point, 'nothing could stop' him.

"I didn't have trouble, I was feeling quite well today," Tsitsipas continued. "I think I played unbelievable tennis until that point 6-2, 3-1 up (Note: the point happened at 3-3, not 3-1). Going for a double break. Like, nothing could stop me.
"And then suddenly that one shot change the whole psychology of the match," he added. "I feel like that was a lost opportunity that shouldn't have happened today. Definitely not. It should have been my way. It should have been in my win."
Published 02 Apr 2021, 15:16 IST
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