With a whimpering defeat at the hands of Daniel Galán in the US Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas’ year came to an end as far as the Grand Slams are concerned. Having been one of the favourites in the US Open tennis odds before the tournament began, Tsitsipas couldn’t even make it beyond the first round.
After reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open back in January, the Greek’s 2022 promised much, but things haven’t quite gone to plan. He was knocked out of the French Open at the fourth-round stage, before falling in the third round of Wimbledon at the hands of Nick Kyrgios. Now, a humbling defeat at Flushing Meadows has made a sour end to Tsitsipas’ Grand Slam hopes this year.
At one point, it had all looked so promising. Tsitsipas reached the final of the French Open in 2021, and took a two-set lead against Novak Djokovic before eventually crumbling under the pressure, with the Serbian coming back to take the title in a fifth and deciding set. Ever since that collapse, it has seemed as though Tsitsipas is unsure of his abilities.
For this year’s French Open, the Greek was rightly lauded as one of the top contenders — the fact that he made it to the final the year before suggested that he had the mental strength to overcome the game’s best players on his day.
However, Tsitsipas looked shaky at Roland-Garros from the outset, requiring five sets to defeat Lorenzo Musetti in round one, and four sets to beat Zdeněk Kolář in round two. By the time Norwegian youngster Holger Rune knocked him out of the tournament in the fourth round, there was a sense of inevitability.
Wimbledon has never been a tournament where Tsitsipas has excelled, and once again he bowed out of the London-based Slam in the first week, losing to Nick Kyrgios in an exciting third-round match. The Greek had looked in control during the early stages, but eventually he got drawn into Kyrgios’ on-court antics, and the Australian was able to capitalise to seal the win.
The US Open was the last chance for Tsitispas to claim Grand Slam glory this year, but it has ended in a whimper to the dismay of those reading the tennis betting tips today. It’s clear that the 24-year-old hasn’t been in the right headspace over the last few months, and the first-round exit at Flushing Meadows is just the latest disappointment.
It feels as though Tsitsipas has a long way to go before he gets his hands on a maiden Grand Slam title. Too often he lets his emotions get in the way, to the detriment of his game. When on top form, the Greek is a formidable player, and it must be remembered that, at 24 years old, he is still maturing as a professional.
That said, there will come a point where first-round exits in Grand Slams are no longer acceptable. To emulate the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, Tsitsipas will need to look deep within and find solutions to the problems that are holding him back on the biggest stage.
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