Paris [France], May 28 (ANI): Stefanos Tsitsipas put up a fine performance to pass a stern first-round test at the French Open 2023, where the fifth seed defeated Jiri Vesely 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7) at the clay-court major on Sunday.
The fifth seed appeared to be in rich form for a routine victory on Court Philippe Chatrier after claiming the first two sets but Vesely. The Czech clinched the third set, but Tsitsipas kept his cool to dig out a three-hour, 13-minute victory.
Tsitsipas outhit Vesely by 57 to 31, but the Czech repeatedly elevated his level at important times to keep the fifth seed on his toes in the pair's first ATP Head2Head showdown on Sunday. Tsitsipas' domination on serve was eventually crucial: the Greek won 83% (71/86) of points on his first delivery overall.
Tsitsipas now holds a 19-6 record at Roland Garros, where he reached the championship match in 2021. His second-round opponent in Paris will be Roberto Carballes Baena or qualifier Emilio Nava.
"He was a difficult obstacle today, I won't lie. He gave me a hard time. I'm happy I overcame it in such a fashion. I was able to bounce back from all those difficulties that were being thrown at me constantly. Today's win is very important for me," ATP.com quoted Tsitsipas as saying.
"'Just keep going to the ball', that's what I kept telling myself," said Tsitsipas. "At times I was not going to the ball, staying still, waiting for it to come to me. So when I took charge when I said 'I'm just going for it', I think that was the moment when I made that switch and won the match," he added.
On Sunday, Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated 20th seed Daniel Evans 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. The Australian wild card converted five of the 13 break points he gained on his way to his first main draw victory at Roland Garros since 2015.
Kokkinakis could face a former champion, Stan Wawrinka, next in Paris, should the 2015 winner defeat Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his first-round match. (ANI)