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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday May 24, 2022

 
Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas rallied from two sets down to send Lorenzo Musetti packing on Day 3 at Roland-Garros.

Photo Source: Getty

Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame a horrible start and put his true grit on display on Tuesday night in Paris, rallying from two sets down to defeat Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti, 5-7, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

Tennis Express

After the match on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Fabrice Santoro asked Tsitsipas what he changed to turn the match around after the second set.

The Greek’s answer?

“My attitude.”


It was also his tennis. Tsitsipas improved to 6-1 in his last seven five-setters, and engineered his third comeback from two sets down to book a second-round clash with 134th-ranked Zdenek Kolar of the Czech Republic.

After surrendering four breaks of serve across the first two sets, Tsitsipas only surrendered one in the final three.

"Once I started finding my serve, my serve was really off from the first - maybe not the first few games of the match, but after, it completely collapsed. It wasn't there. That threw me off a lot. Once I really found my momentum on the serve, my routines and everything, I knew that it can be a different match."

Musetti, who has lost his last two matches at Roland-Garros from two sets to love up, hit 27 winners in the first two sets, but could only manage 21 more as Tsitsipas took over the tone of the match.

The Greek told reporters after the match that he's used to having to grind out wins.

"I have to really work to get things in life," he said. "Things don't come easy. I refuse to give up. That's simply how it works with me."

The talented Italian was up two sets to love in the round of 16 against Novak Djokovic last year. His nightmares about playing in Paris may be with him for another year.

The former junior No.1, now a World No.66, has to learn how to close matches out on the biggest stages. Once he does he could be a top-level talent for years to come.

In the end it was a happy day for Tsitsipas, the one who has learned to navigate these sticky situations, who showed his experience and mental toughness. Now it is he who has been given a workable draw. In the bottom half of the draw without Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Carlos Alcaraz, he is the favorite to reach the final.

But he knows he'll need to have a better mentality moving forward.

"Mentally, I don't know what it was exactly, but I was not there," Tsitsipas said. "I was somewhere else. I was frustrated with myself. What did I do to kind of feel that way or deserve that in an opener like this, in a Grand Slam, you know. I think I was really focused too much on the future, thinking of other things instead of really being fully present in what I was doing at the time. But my fighting instinct came out in the third. I had no other choice, I guess. I really had to pull that off and go all the way."


 

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