With his first title in Stockholm on Sunday, Stefanos Tsitsipas inched closer to realizing his potential as the champion, we believe, he will be in the not so distant future. He beat Ernest Gulbis 6-4, 6-4 to capture his maiden trophy at the Stockholm Open.
Ernest Gulbis’ route to the finals.
Ernest Gulbis, ranked 145, was gunning for his seventh tour title. He had won all six finals of his career so far but fell a little short against the all-court onslaught of Tsitsipas, this time. Gulbis was plagued with injuries over the last three years and came into the main draw as a qualifier. He sent Dennis Shapovalov, another great hope of the future, home with a convincing straight-set walloping in the second round, and followed that with a three-set win over the fourth seed, Jack Sock. His semi-final against John Isner was a three-setter too, and many expected him to beat Stefanos Tisitsipas and take the trophy home.
Stefanos Tistsipas’ route to the finals.
Stefanos Tsitsipas was seeded three at the Stockholm Open in Sweden. After a bye in the first, Tsitsipas outlasted John Millman in a three-set battle in the second and followed that with a straight-set beating of the German veteran Kohlschreiber in straight. His semi-final against the talented, but mercurial, Fabio Fognini was a relatively easy straight-set win. With the Stockholm title, Tsitsipas became the first Greek to win an ATP tour event.
2018 has been Tsitispas’ breakthrough year.
Stefanos had won four ATP matches and was ranked just inside of top 100 at the start of this year. He is ranked 16 now and has come a far way since then. He has employed his all-court aggressive game and variety to lay waste many a big scalp this year. At the Rogers’ Cup this year, he subdued Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, and Kevin Anderson in a row. It took an in-form Nadal to bring him down in the finals.
Stefanos also suffered a few heart-wrenching losses this year. He lost two finals, to Nadal, prior to this win in Stockholm.
Tsitsipas is the real deal.
This dude is everything, and more, the pundits and his colleagues have been saying about him. He plays an aggressive brand of tennis, always looking to move in and finish points, has an effective serve, and that single-handed backhand is way better than Federer’s was at 20. Tsitsipas is quick for a 6’4″. His movement and the aggressive style should help him develop a few winning patterns over time.
Barring sickness or an injury, Stefanos Tsitsipas will be in the top ten in 2019. He will be a multiple slam winner and number one within the next five years.