French Open 2022: Stefanos Tsitsipas after a bitter end

last year’s finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas had to give up surprisingly early at the French Open 2022. After his bitter defeat by Holger Rune the Greek judged himself harshly.

by Michael Rothschädl

last edited: 05/30/2022, 8:09 p.m

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Stefanos Tsitsipas lost to Holger Rune at the French Open
Stefanos Tsitsipas lost to Holger Rune at the French Open

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It certainly felt like a turning point in the tournament so far for Stefanos Tsitsipas: After two extremely bumpy performances in the first two rounds of the French Open 2022, the Greek co-favorite did not show any weakness in his third round duel with Mikael Ymer and fixed a clash in a sovereign manner with the Danish shooting star Holger Rune.

And this one had come to play – Rune showed that from the start. Although Tsitsipas managed the first break of the game, set one should ultimately go to 19-year-old Rune, who at times showed great tennis. It was just as remarkable – only here in a negative sense – how much the youngster’s level subsequently dropped. Tsitsipas equalized and now gave the impression of having this match under control.

Rune is struggling, Tsitsipas cannot use it

Especially when the Danes had physical problems. The rune fought with it, as he took full risk on almost every ball and let a clear game or an exhausting rally go without the last bite. Surprisingly, this situation was of little use to Stefanos Tsitsipas – rather, it was this phase in which Rune heralded a new turning point in this match.

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It was also surprising how error-prone Stefanos Tsitsipas acted as the match progressed and never knew how to take advantage of his opponent’s physical problems. The Greek’s record was also quite negative: “He played very well, but I have to emphasize my poor management of the baseline game on my part. I had the feeling that I missed a lot of chances and gave him a lot of free points without even being able to score had a chance to assert myself in the rallies.”

Tsitsipas is annoyed by tactical mistakes

According to Tsitsipas, he had problems finding his rhythm throughout the tournament. “I was very nervous on the field. I was very frustrated,” said the Greek, who identified the return game and a small change in his game as the main problem areas. “The feeling is similar to what you feel when changing gear, but I can’t blame that because I made that choice to improve.”

It was the setback game that made the difference in his opponent’s favor that afternoon, emphasized Tsitsipas. “He’s serving well, but he’s not John Isner. Psychologically, that knocked me out completely. As soon as I missed several returns or didn’t return deep, he felt very comfortable making good shots,” Tsitsipas said. “I didn’t put any pressure on him. It was ridiculous. I was stubborn and didn’t change it.”

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