From the moment Stefanos Tsitsipas stepped foot in Marseille he looked like a man meaning business.
In Melbourne he looked stuck and in Rotterdam it was a bit of a huff and puff. In Marseille it was a revitalised string of performances without a set dropped as he defended his title from 12 months ago.
Stefanos had a tricky week to orchestrate his way through. Every player brings something different but at the same time it was a big contrast in styles.
The Greek opened up his week with a comfortable 6-3 6-1 win over Mikael Ymer who is a tough baseline player who likes to go big but he took control quickly. Next up was the in-form Vasek Pospisil who has been in such good form this year. The Canadian has starred this year following back surgery. He brings a quicker approach and is looking for that forehand and is very competent at the net.
He went onto see off Alexander Bublik by the same score of 7-5 6-3 as he did with Pospisil but Bublik as we know doesn’t play a straight forward game. He brings bizarre variety at times and unusual decision making but he is fun to watch.
Despite these challenges he remained super focused, determined and consistent throughout a week his game oozed class.
In Rotterdam he didn’t serve to badly at all it was just what followed that wasn’t happening for the 21 year old.
During this week in Marseille he looked like a man with a plan and his backhand in particular was full of trust.
We know Stefanos has that one-handed backhand and uses it more than others to some extent in rallies so he does rely on it, he doesn’t play safe tennis and I like the risk and belief he plays with and this was evident in Marseille.
Early on in the match against Felix we saw Stefanos wait for that ball and then unleash…
He played the shot with confidence, he cleared the net with good height and speed and continued to drop the backhand deep in the court forcing Auger-Aliassime back.
When Stefanos has that presence of confidence in his game he is difficult to stop. He never looked back during the week and when you think of his performances over the last year he is at his best when he has that intensity in his game.