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31st TERRA WORTMANN OPEN June 15th to 23rd 2024

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(at Sportpark, Gausekampweg 2, Halle/Westf.)

Kyrgios triumphant in big spectacle

The Australian beats down Stefanos Tsitsipas in a match full of excitement

 

Great tennis, big excitement, big spectacle – the round-of-16 match of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios was exactly how the spectators had anticipated it.  The Australian player was perhaps even on the edge of being disqualified, but he has entered into the quarterfinals with 5:7, 6:3, 6:4.

It started with a storm of services. Four of the first nine games were won to love,  just five times the return player won a point. Both of the 1.93 metre tall giants just served through. Kyrgios drove it up to 223 kilometres per hour. In this phase it was puzzling why neither of them has ever reached a final on grass before. “Perhaps it will work out this week in Halle, I think I’m one of the best players on grass”, Kyrgios said. 

But first that occurred what separates the absolute top players like Tsitsipas from the ones in the second row sometimes. When it got tight, the favourite to win the match came back with a vengeance, the opponent started to stumble. The Greek player had his first break points in the10th game, but gave them away. And while the Australian preferred discussing the Hawk Eye or ringing mobiles with the umpire Tsitsipas got 6:5. He didn’t convert the next three set points, but converted the sixth to make it 7:5 after a strong forehand return. 

Chapter two looked completely different. After Kyrgios had smashed his racket furiously, he found back to his spectacular return game. He let his fearsome playing arm loose in the first service game of the second set and got more points on the service of the Greek player than in the whole of the first set. Break. Just minutes afterwards the events came thick and fast.  

The Australian took a provocatively long time to walk to his towel while the French Open finalist of 2021 was ready to serve, so Kyrgios was warned by the umpire. The man from Canberra promptly refused to play on, sat down on the bench, demanded the supervisor. "I am statistically one of the fastest players on the Tour and the umpire tells me it took me too long. That I do not understand“, the warned player said. Meanwhile Tsitsipas, being cheered on by the crowd, practised his serves. After catcalls from the crowd the grumbling Kyrgios decided to play on – and was able to control the match noticeably. It was obvious that the interruption had harmed his opponent more. Kyrgios let a second break follow and won the set 6:2. "The discussion with the umpire didn’t let me lose my focus, it didn’t really matter at all“. 

They both first fended off break points in the third set, but the momentum was more on Kyrgios’s side. And indeed, he was on the spot in the ninth game. A breathtaking forehand seiled the break 5:4. "I am so glad to keep up with the best players in the world in the few tournaments I play. And Stef belongs to the best“, Kyrgios stated after the match. 

Even two warnings couldn’t stop Nick Kyrgios at the 29. TERRA WORTMANN OPEN. Photo: TERRA WORTMANN OPEN/Mathias Schulz
Stefanos Tsitsipas played a tremendous first set but was brought out of his rhythm by the events afterwards. PhFoto: TERRA WORTMANN OPEN/Mathias Schulz