Tsitsipas Outlasts Bautista Agut For First Grass Title; Fritz Wins Another Eastbourne
It hasn’t been easy on the grass for the Greek, but Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first title on the surface Saturday edging Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) in the Mallorca final.
Tsitsipas, who had never been to grass semifinal, missed his first chance at the win serving for the match at 5-3 but rolled in the breaker.
“It looks like I’m playing longer matches on grass than I do on clay,” joked Tsitsipas in his on-court interview. “This was an incredible fight and an incredible battle. I know it can be difficult for one person to deal with the loss, but I think for tennis it is great that we are able to play at this high level and show our sport.”
Tsitsipas needed 2 hours, 31 minutes to win his ninth career title. He had lost to Nick Kyrgios in the second match at Halle.
On Sunday at Wimbledon, Tsitsipas continued on what the title meant.
“People kind of doubted that I can play on grass, I think it’s fair to say,” Tsitsipas said. “I never doubted myself. I said – I insisted, in fact – that I can play on this surface, and it remains one of my favourite surfaces.
“I was pretty confident about it.
“I guess I proved myself [in Mallorca] that it’s not a surface that I don’t like. I like playing on grass, probably more than on clay.”
Tsitsipas will open play Tuesday at Wimbledon against 28-year-old Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard who will make his Grand Slam debut.
In Eastbourne, it was Taylor Fritz taking home his second title there topping countryman Maxime Cressy 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-6(4).
Fritz, who won Eastbourne in 2019, never lost serve once during the week.
“There is something about this place. It is where I won my first title and when I got here on the first day this week, I felt that I was playing so much better than before. This place has a special spot in my heart,” Fritz told the crowd.
“My grass season wasn’t going great before I arrived here. But it is great to beat these players and it gives me confidence,” he said. “I played really well all week and going into Wimbledon, I feel good.”
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