Home Sport Stefanos Tsitsipas shows true colours minutes after brutal Madrid Open upset loss

Stefanos Tsitsipas shows true colours minutes after brutal Madrid Open upset loss

Stefanos Tsitsipas showed his class as he refused to make excuses for his defeat to Thiago Monteiro just moments after coming off the court. The world No. 7 enjoyed a strong start to the clay season, winning the Monte-Carlo Masters, but he fell at the first hurdle of the Madrid Open as the qualifier stunned him 6-4 6-4.

Tsitsipas went 10-1 in matches across his first two tournaments on the clay, winning his third Monte Carlo title and reaching the final of the Barcelona Open. Arguably the most in-form player on the surface right now, he came to Madrid as one of the favourites.

After receiving a bye into the second round, the 25-year-old lasted just 96 minutes on the court as he was upset by world No. 118 Monteiro. Speaking less than 20 minutes after his loss, Tsitsipas made sure to give all the credit to his opponent instead of defending himself.

“I would just like to congratulate my opponent. I have nothing to say on behalf of me. Great match from his side. This is tennis,” he said in the heat of defeat. Assessing the match itself, the 11-time title winner piled praise on Monteiro.

Tsitsipas added: “Well, I had a very good opponent on the other side of the net. He was coming up with great shots and punishing me every single time I played short. Didn’t manage to get the depth of the court.

“He was very aggressive, very persistent. His first-serve percentage was pretty high, very good first-serve percentage. I just wish I was able to return the way I did in the last game. I felt out of rhythm the entire match on my returns. I felt very disbalanced and just, like, my body was going all over the place.”

After a red-hot start to the clay swing, Tsitsipas will now try and learn from his shock defeat ahead of the Rome Masters and French Open. “It’s not a great feeling, of course, but I have to accept it and move on,” he explained.

“I did a few mistakes. I was not perhaps 100 per cent ready for this match, and my opponent was 100 per cent ready for this match. Therefore, he walked away with the victory. He was just much more there. His senses were more present and he prevailed.”

The world No. 7 also believes that he needs to watch out for his dangerous lower-ranked rivals who are used to playing on the Challenger tour. He continued: “What I’m taking away from this is I saw a few improvements that I managed to make throughout the match. They were quite late. They came quite late during the match.

“But I think I try and understand from these improvements that I made and reinforce them next time I step out on the court and I’m faced with the same situation again, playing a player who is hungry to beat me, playing a player who is literally grinding, has played a few challengers in the last few months, and these are the type of opponents that for sure you should be more alert being faced against.”


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