Stefanos Tsitsipas said the key to his impressive comeback victory over Lorenzo Musetti at the French Open was a switch of “attitude”.
The world No. 4 looked to be heading for a shock exit as he lost the first two sets against Musetti, who pushed Novak Djokovic to five sets last year in Paris.
However, Tsitsipas raised his game and fought back to win 5-7 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-2.
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Asked during his on-court interview what he changed after the second set to turn the match around, Tsitsipas said: “My attitude.
“I wasn’t feeling very good in the first two sets, something was off with my game, but Lorenzo played really well, he wasn’t giving me rhythm.
“For sure very happy that things ended that way. Things weren’t easy for me in the first two sets but positive, good effort at the end.”
Tsitsipas lost in the final last year and is fancied to go far again after landing on the opposite half of the draw to Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev.
He will next face Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolar.
Two-time French Open finalist Alex Corretja thinks Tsitsipas will be buoyed by the win over Musetti.
“It was one of the best matches I have seen in the first round of a Grand Slam, the quality was amazing,” Corretja said on Eurosport.
“This could be a turning point in his career. This match should give him so much confidence because he was trying to go for it, he didn’t wait for the mistakes of Musetti.”
Former British No. 1 Tim Henman said he thought Tsitsipas’ serve was key to the match.
“He had a lot of chances in the first set and then at 5-4 he lost seven games in a row. I was thinking ‘what’s going on wrong’, he was in good form on clay, but he summed it up well when he said there was something wrong with his game.
“Musetti was getting on top in the baseline exchanges and I think that is a lot to do with Tsitsipas’ serve, it didn’t seem like it was firing well and if he’s hitting a lot of second serves it allows Musetti to get on top in the rallies. When he was able to do that he has some serious firepower from the back of the court.
“Tsitsipas looked really frustrated and you were thinking ‘wow we could have a huge upset on the cards’. If he doesn’t hit his targets with the first serve he is into more baseline exchanges and Musetti was playing aggressive from the back of the court.
“I feel for Musetti. To be up two sets to love against Djokovic and lose, and on the same court be up two sets to love against Tsitsipas and lose, the match just slowly ran away from him. He just couldn’t quite sustain it, it was a combination of his level dropping and Tsitsipas’ level getting better all the time. He will be delighted to come through that.”
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