Tsitsipas raised his arms in relief and was celebrated by the French fans. The fourth in the world rankings clearly showed which stone fell from his heart after more than three and a half hours of hard work.
“He was the better, he was the more consistent and experienced player,” analyzed Eurosport expert Mischa Zverev the Greek’s performance, referring primarily to sentences three to five, in which Tsitsipas still turned the match around.
Tsitsipas started well in the first set and was quickly ahead with a break, but the game slipped away from the favored Greek when the score was 4: 2. Musetti got the rebreak, took Tsitsipas’ serve again when the score was 5: 5 and secured the first round 7: 5.
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Tsitsipas seemed to be off the mark as a result and was quickly 0: 4 behind in the second round before he found his focus again. “He’s showing emotion now,” Mischa Zverev explained the increase in performance on the Eurosport microphone. It looked as if the fourth in the world rankings could fight his way back into the sentence, but Musetti stayed with himself in the important situations and also got the second round with 6:4.
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However, Tsitsipas didn’t let that bother him and turned it up a notch. The favorite confidently grabbed sets three and four.
“That’s the quality of Tsitsipas, that you have to win every point 100 percent. You might be able to do that in a sentence or two, but after two hours you get tired or lose concentration – and then the table turns,” commented Zverev and should be right. Tsitsipas stayed cool in the fifth set and made the comeback victory perfect with his third match point after 3:34 hours.
For Musetti, it is the second bitter first-round defeat against a favorite at the French Open in a row. In 2021, the Italian Novak Djokovic was on the brink, was in front against the Serbs and Tsitsipa’s 2-0 sets, but then lost his nerve and finally had to give up in the fifth set.
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Tsitsipas is chasing his first Grand Slam victory
This means that all professionals from the extended circle of candidates are still in the running.
Last year, Tsitsipas was on the verge of a big triumph and led 2-0 sets against Novak Djokovic in the final. But the Serb snatched the trophy from him with a spectacular comeback. Now the 24-year-old is making the next attempt at his first Grand Slam victory.
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