Who was up for Stefanos vs Jannik part two for 2023? These guys are the next generation of superstars in men’s tennis, they produced a thriller in Melbourne last month , could they repeat? How disappointed was I from the Greek. Look when it comes to Stefanos expect the ups and downs in a season a stock price. The next hurdle will be to find that consistency , that unfortunately goes for Sinner as well , if the two are to land that illusive grand slam. Watch 1-1 first set deuce on the Stefanos racquet. That Stefanos’s forehand is class hasn’t been in question. An area of his game that doesn’t receive the necessary praise is his net play. The point was set up nicely by a forehand cross court although the smash volley wasn’t the easiest because of the height Sinner got on the backhand. Sinner edged out the first set more or less because the second serve accuracy wasn’t all there from Tsitsipas, just on the right side of 50%. Check out 4-4(30-40) break point. That nonchalant serve was too central and had no purchase on it to trouble the Italian. That’s the pressure a second serve puts on you, you be on double fault jeopardy such that you need a stronger return game to cover for a weak second serve. I believe that is Stefanos Achilles heel.
Stefanos’s telling stat for the match. No break point opportunities created. That is most telling because it shows how Stefanos was waiting for Sinner to make the mistake rather than go on the front foot especially when he got to 0-30,15-30 or 30-30 on the Italian’s racquet. Yes, in tennis there are two types of player, the timid ones are content with avoiding mistakes on their own , playing safe returns and hope for the unforced. The aggressive ones the Rogers and Djokovics attack almost from the off. Check out first point 0-30 Sinner on the Tsitsipas racquet. Stefanos heeds the aggression call by attacking the net but the lob was as close to perfection from Sinner as you can get. Point of the match, 2-1 Sinner (15-0). Sinner clearly targeting the backhand side of Stefanos the Italian having done his homework. The Greek’s backhand has improved in recent years(although there are areas of improvement especially footwork), what cost him the point here is his poor net coverage. He didn’t go central instead anticipating another return to the backhand side. Yes, the best man won this match no doubt. Jannik will face backhand master Stan Wawrinka in the last 8 today in another humdinger of a match in Rotterdam. The tournament keeps them coming.