Young guns Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev suffered shock first-round defeats at Wimbledon on Monday as the sixth and seventh seeds were bundled out within an hour of each other.
Greek Tsitsipas entered the tournament tipped as the man most likely to challenge the authority of the big three but was beaten 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-7(8) 6-3 by lowly-ranked Italian Thomas Fabbiano who produced an inspired display on Court Two.
Tsitsipas saved two match points in the fourth-set tiebreak but Fabbiano, ranked 102nd, was relentless and when he broke in the seventh game of the decider with a cruel netcord it was clear it was not going to be Tsitsipas’s day.
He found himself in good company through the exit door though as Germany’s Zverev ran into Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely and was also sent packing.
The 22-year-old seemed on course for victory when he won the first set but the powerfully-built Vesely roared back.
Zverev, coached by Ivan Lendl, slipped when serving at 5-6 15-30 in the fourth set, handing his opponent two match points, and netted a backhand volley to seal his fate.
Stefanos just could not play his normal game and Fabbiano was getting more and more confident during the game and Tsitsipas resorted to screaming to release his tension.
Afterwards Stefanos Tsitsipas said “ that Fabbiano played better than him and has improved a lot since I beat him last year in straight sets. He was asked if the five hour marathon defeat versus Stan Wawrinka in Paris set him back. He replied it was very very difficult to overcome that matchI was really disappointed, I am disappointed now. People expected things from me. I didn’t deliver.
When you get so much support, so much energy, so much positivity from everyone , and just ruin everything by yourself its devastating.