Greek edges Austrian for third time in as many matches this year

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Stefanos Tsitsipas spoiled the party for the local fans Tuesday at the Erste Bank Open by delivering a rock-solid opening-round display to down home favourite Dominic Thiem.

The fourth-seeded Greek prevailed 7-6(5), 6-4 after saving all three break points he faced at the ATP 500 in Vienna. Tsitsipas clinched a first set of narrow margins by rallying from 2/4 in the tie-break before a decisive break in the third game of the second set proved enough for him to book a second-round clash with Tomas Machac.

With his one-hour, 59-minute win, Tsitsipas strengthened his bid to secure a spot at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals. The 25-year-old is currently sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, having amassed a 46-20 record in 2023.

Tsitsipas and Thiem’s two previous Lexus Head2Head meetings this season had both been settled in deciding-set tie-breaks. Tuesday’s clash in Vienna initially looked like being an equally tight affair, as the two players lit up the Wiener Stadthalle with a series of blistering baseline exchanges. Tsitsipas’ ability to find big serves when he needed ultimately proved crucial, however, especially when he fended off three break points to hold for 1-1 in the second set.

The Greek has struggled for his best level of late but could identify Tuesday’s win as a turning point as he chases his second tour-level title of the season in the Austrian capital.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024