Stefanos Tsitsipas faced an initial setback on Monday at the Australian Open but swiftly adjusted his game to secure a victory against Belgian lucky loser Zizou Bergs.
The match unfolded with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win, propelling Tsitsipas to the second round in Melbourne for the sixth consecutive year.
Last year’s finalist encountered challenges finding his rhythm in the first set on the sun-drenched Rod Laver Arena, falling behind to the energetic Bergs, who sought his maiden major win.
The turning point emerged at the start of the second set when Tsitsipas broke Bergs’ serve. A crucial moment occurred as Bergs hit a volley that initially landed on the Greek’s side of the net but started to spin back over.
Tsitsipas, at full stretch, leaned over the net to dispatch the ball before it bounced again, narrowly avoiding the net. This win gave Tsitsipas a 2-0 lead in the second set, and from there, it was one-way traffic as Bergs tired in the hot conditions.
The seventh seed showcased his prowess, striking 38 winners, committing 28 unforced errors, and breaking Bergs’ serve seven times to advance after three hours of intense play.
Reflecting on the match, Tsitsipas shared, “It was not easy for me, but I had that determination… I am glad I turned it around and showed that fighting spirit.” With an impressive track record at the hard-court major, including reaching the final last year and the semi-final on three other occasions (2019, ’21’, ’22), the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion is set to face either Jordan Thompson or Alexsandar Vukic in the next round.