Tsitsipas holds out Altmaier to reach French Open third round

FORMER finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas forced his way past German Daniel Altmaier in the first match on a rain-affected day at Roland Garros overnight. The Greek star had to battle through four sets before eventually taking the win in two hours and 43 minutes, 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-4.

Tsitsipas was dominant early, dropping just six points on serve through the first set and quickly whipped up the first set 6-3 before rolling on to win the opening four games of the second set. That allowed the ninth seed to go two sets to love ahead before the hour-mark of the match.

It came as no surprise that Altmaier might be a little tired, having spent more than five hours on court three days earlier to take out Serbian Laslo Djere. Despite that fact, the man who stunned Jannik Sinner at Roland Garros 12 months ago found a way to get back into the contest, winning the third set tiebreaker 7-2 and starting to get the match back on an even keel.

Unfortunately for the 83rd ranked German, Tsitsipas was in the zone, and after matching it with him for eight games in the fourth set, the Greek Top 10 talent stepped it up to win the final two games and close out the match in two hour and 43 minutes.

The match was a rare battle of two players with one-handed backhands, something that Tsitsipas enjoyed the challenge of overcoming.

“I don’t get to play against single-backhand guys that often,” Tsitsipas said post-match. “It’s almost as if I’m getting a taste of my own tennis. I think the single-handed backhand can be very effective on clay, opening up the court, creating much more topspin, especially if you get good timing on it – I feel like it can do miracles on the red clay. 

“It brings a different challenge, facing guys with a single-handed backhand. I feel like my brain needs to operate with a little bit of a different rotation to come up with some good shots.”

Tsitsipas hit 54 winners to Altmaier’s 37, though the German proved the better player off the backhand wing with 11 winners to five. The errors were fairly even with Tsitsipas committing just one more (66-65) for the match, while both players won 80 per cent of their net points.


[2] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated Richard Gasquet (FRA)
[3] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) defeated Jesper De Jong (NED) 6-3 6-4 2-6 6-2
[6] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-3 6-4 6-3
[9] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Daniel Altmaier (GER) 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-4
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) defeated by Pavel Kotov (RUS) 7-6 6-4 1-6 7-6


Brandon Nakashima (USA) leads [8] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-5
[15] Ben Shelton (USA) is level with Kei Nishikori (JPN) 5-5
[27] Sebastian Korda (USA) leads Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) 5-4
Matteo Arnaldi (ITA) leads Alexandre Muller (FRA) 5-3
Zhizhen Zhang (CHN) leads Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 4-3

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