Stefanos Tsitsipas edges Jan-Lennard Struff in Rome Open clay-court thriller

Saturday, 11 May 2024 at 22:38
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Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the third round of the 2024 Rome Open, but not without a fight against Jan-Lennard Stuff on Saturday evening in the Italian capital as he had to prevail in an absolute thriller.
Tsitsipas won through 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the end in two and a half hours as two of the recent clay court champions collided. The Greek won in Monte-Carlo and reached the final in Barcelona, while Struff who came alive last year on this surface sealed Munich. As a result, it was a tough tie on paper despite Struff's top 40 ranking.
But it proved to be the case for Tsitsipas as he had to battle back from a set down in three gruelling sets in Rome. A big win for him and one that couldn't have started worse in terms of the opening set. Tsitsipas was thrashed 7-1 in the tie-break as he stayed with Struff all set only to meet a pretty dismal end.
The second was topsy turvy as both handled breaks of serve with Tsitsipas going onto lead 4-2 and he could've been even further ahead spurning a multitude of break chances to go 5-2 up. He went 5-3 up but missed a set point to make it 6-3. But he put it right next game. The third set was more of a clinical outing as he broke to make it 3-2 and staved off three break points. This killed the spirit of Struff with both holding from there pretty easily. This in turn allowed Tsitsipas to sneak through after averting a real scare.
Next up for Tsitsipas will be Cameron Norrie with Felix Auger-Aliassime who reached the Madrid final last week lurking in wait in the next section potentially in the Quarter-Finals.

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