At the Open 13 in Marseille, France, after cruising to a dominant 6-1, 6-3 victory over Mikael Ymer in his opening round encounter, the Greek young sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas will take on Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in his upcoming quarter-final on Friday.
While Tsitsipas, being the No.2 seed, received a bye in his Round of 32 clash, the 29-year old Canadian overcame Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6(8-6), 6-3 in his Round of 32 encounter and then recorded an impressive 6-3, 6-4 win against the 8th seeded Hubert Hurkacz in his clash of last 16 on Wednesday.
Their upcoming quarter-final meeting at Marseille will be their first-ever face-off on the ATP tour so far as the 21-year old Greek, who is also the defending champion at Marseille, starts as a firm favourite against Pospisil.
Tsitsipas had a breakthrough year in 2019 where he achieved a spot in the semi-finals for the first time at a Major, reaching the semi-finals Down Under at the beginning of 2019 and ended the year on a high as well as he triumphed at the Nitto ATP Finals in November, beating Dominic Thiem in a thrilling 3-set final at London.
However, the young Greek has struggled so far this year. Having suffered a string of defeats at the ATP Cup, followed by a 3rd round exit at the Australian Open, the 2019 Open 13 champion also succumbed at the hands of Alijaz Bedene in his Round of 16 clash at Rotterdam last week and now is keen to find answers to his woes at Marseille.
Tsitsipas, who won the title last year at Marseille, did not drop a set all week and following his straight-sets victory against Ymer in his opening round, is now on a 10-set winning streak at Marseille and would dearly hope to continue his streak as he faces Pospisil in his upcoming quarter-final.
On the other hand, while Pospisil suffered an early exit at Rotterdam last week, he was in fine form on the hard courts at Montpellier two weeks back and defeated the likes of Denis Shapovalov, Richard Gasquet and David Goffin en route his journey to the final where he lost to the inspired home hope, Gael Monfils in the summit clash.
Tsitsipas has been nowhere near to his best so far this season, but it will take an inspired and gutsy performance from Pospisil if he fancies upsetting the defending champion in their upcoming last 8 clash at Marseille.
Can Tsitsipas overcome resurgent Pospisil to keep his hopes of defending the title alive or will the 29-year old Canadian stun the young Greek to book his second semi-final spot in three weeks at Marseille?
Let the action get underway on the quarter-final Friday at Marseille.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in straight sets.Published 20 Feb 2020, 23:38 IST