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Tsitsipas vs Stakhovsky ATP Marseille Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsitsipas attempts to win back-to-back matches for the first time since the Australian Open

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 22 Feb 2019
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Sergiy Stakhovsky is live from Marseille on Friday, 22 February from 7:00pm local time/ 6:00pm GMT
  • Tsitsipas lost to Stakhovsky at a Challenger event in 2017- their only previous meeting
Stefanos Tsitsipas. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

Greek young gun, Stefanos Tsitsipas attempts to reach his second semi-final of the season when he takes on Ukrainian, Sergiy Stakhovsky in Marseille on Friday.

Tsitsipas' first semi-final of 2019 was a massive one, as he took on Rafael Nadal in the last four of the Australian Open after a stunning run of results that included a four-set fourth-round victory over Roger Federer in Melbourne. Despite being a distant second best to Nadal in that semi-final, the 20-year-old Greek had left a huge mark down under, announcing himself as not just a star of the future, but very much a star of the present.

Curiously though, Tsitsipas hasn't done much outside that Melbourne run, going 2-3 in his other three tournaments (prior to Marseille) in Sydney, Sofia and Rotterdam, where he suffered his first opening round loss of the season to Damir Dzumhur.

He got back to winning ways in his Marseille opener, easing past Polish young gun, Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-2 for just his third win outside the Australian Open this season, and his first ever win in Marseille, having lost in the opening round in each of his previous two seasons. Can he score back-to-back wins for the first time since the Australian Open when he plays Stakhovsky on Friday?

Tsitsipas is seeking his second tour-level title this week, having opened his account in Stockholm during a breakthrough 2018, when he rose from 91st at the start of the year to secure a top-15 finish. He also made a Masters 1000 final in Toronto last season, beating top-ten stars, Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, and Kevin Anderson; and reached another final at the ATP 500 meet in Barcelona. He lost both finals to Nadal. 

He went bang again at the Australian Open, advancing to his first major semi-final, but that chastening defeat to Nadal in Melbourne, and the overall emotional and physical energy expended during that run seemed to take a lot out of him, as he suffered early exits in subsequent tournaments in Sofia and Rotterdam. Tsitsipas must now move on from that and continue the excellent strides he has made in the last year- a semifinal in Marseille will do quite nicely. Veteran Ukrainian, Stakhovsky is out to prevent that from happening.


Sergiy Stakhovsky. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Tsitsipas and Stakhovsky do have something in common- the served-and-volleyed Roger Federer out of a Grand Slam, with Tsitsipas' excellent Australian Open win mirroring Stakhovsky's stunning upset of the great Swiss at Wimbledon back in 2013.

Stakhovsky never truly built on that result, and has spent a big chunk of his time after that plugging away on the Challenger tour. The 33-year-old possesses a career-high ranking of 31st, attained in 2010, but he has ended each of the last three seasons outside the top 100, and fell as low as 150th in the world towards the end of last year- his lowest ranking since February 2008.

Stakhovsky won just two tour-level matches last season (interestingly, one each at Roland Garros and Wimbledon), but he has already matched that tally this week in Marseille, beating Constant Lestienne and Gregoire Barrere (in a very unremarkable draw) after coming through the qualifying rounds to reach his first ATP World Tour quarter final since Dubai in 2015. 

Stakhovsky is playing just his second tour-level main draw of the season, with his only previous appearance coming in the opening week of the year in Doha, where he lost to Marco Cecchinato in the first round. He has failed to get through the qualifying rounds at the Australian Open, Sofia and Rotterdam. The Ukrainian is looking to reach the semi-finals in Marseille for a second time, having got to the last four in 2015, when he beat Stan Wawrinka in the quarter finals before falling to Gilles Simon. 

Stakhovsky defeated Tsitsipas at a Challenger meet in Slovenia in 2017, but Tsitsipas has improved tremendously since then, while Stakhovsky has been operating at a lower level. Except the Greek is still suffering from his post-Australian Open hangover, he should be too powerful for the Ukrainian on Friday.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Sergiy Stakhovsky is live from Marseille on Friday, 22 February from 7:00pm local time/ 6:00pm GMT


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Tsitsipas vs Stakhovsky ATP Marseille Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsitsipas attempts to win back-to-back matches for the first time since the Australian Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas continues his Marseille campaign on Friday when he plays Sergiy Stakhovsky in the quarter finals. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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