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La résurrection de Stefanos Tsitsipas Jannik Sinner, on top of the world

The young Greek player loses against Novak Djokovic (6/3 6/4) in the Astana Open finals in Kazakhstan, on Sunday, the 9th of October.

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The tenth encounter between the two players lived up to its expectations. During this short final of 1h16, they showed an entertaining tennis to Astana’s spectators. Despite Stefanos Tsitsipas’ game level, he didn’t manage to disturb Novak Djokovic. This last one demonstrated the extent of his talent.

This tournament allowed the players to gain precious points. The Serbian qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals while Stefanos Tsitsipas took back the fifth spot of the world.

The first set was tied. Both finalists began with a love game: 1/1. From the first minutes, Stefanos Tsitsipas showed great aggressiveness. He took over the net to enforce his game style. As for Novak Djokovic, he dominated the long rallies. He played clinical balls, waiting for the Greek to miss: 4/3. The eighth game of the match was a turning point. The Serbian got his first break point of the match – that he won: 5/3. Then, he only had to serve for the set. During this last game, Novak Djokovic played a flawless tennis. Stefanos Tsitsipas couldn’t imprint his style of play: 1.5 meters behind his baseline, he was passive. The former world number one won the first set 6/3 in 32 minutes.

The second set confirmed the first one. The young Greek made more unforced errors. Struggling during his serve games, he granted break points in the third set. After endless minutes, he managed to keep his serve: 2/1. Novak Djokovic won his fourth love game of the match: 2/2. He read his opponent’s strikes brilliantly. Unable to surprise his rival, Stefanos Tsitsipas granted three break points. A volley that ended up in the net gave the advantage to ‘Djokernole’: 3/2. This last one showed an astonishing level of tennis: sequences of winners, unreadable first balls and derisory unforced errors. Nothing seemed to disturb him. The 24 years-old player battled to win his serve games while Novak Djokovic returned every ball with a disconcerting ease. Logically, he won this final: 6/3 6/4.

During the last game of the Astana Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas played an impressive tennis. Through his forward constructed game, he showed his explosiveness and a smart game plan: a diversity of angles, changes of rhythm during the rallies and a very convincing backhand – which he used more than he is used to. Nevertheless, his opponent was uncatchable. ‘Djokernole’ granted no break point. He anticipated each of the Greek’s balls even before they had come out of his racket. His defensive abilities combined with a controlled aggressiveness let no chance to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Novak Djokovic remains undefeated on the ATP Tour since his quarterfinals against Rafael Nadal in Roland Garros (2/6 6/4 2/6 6/7). Can he keep on showing this level of tennis until the end of the season?

Marnie Abbou

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