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Tsitsipas vs Struff ATP Barcelona live streaming, preview and tips - Tsitsipas targets return to Barcelona quarter-finals

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 25 Apr 2019
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jan-Lennard Struff is live from Barcelona around 3.30pm local time on Thursday (2.30pm BST)
  • Tsitsipas won their only previous tour-level meeting earlier this year in Sofia
Stefanos Tsitsipas (PA Images)

Last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas seeks a return to the Barcelona Banc Sabadell Open quarter-finals when he meets the hard-hitting Jan-Lennard Struff on Thursday.

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Returning to Barcelona as a top 10 player and Grand Slam semi-finalist, can Stefanos Tsitsipas defend his runner-up points and make another statement of intent on clay? The World No. 8 takes on Jan-Lennard Struff for a place in the quarter-finals on Thursday at the 500-level event.

This time last year, Tsitsipas was ranked No. 63 in the world, and while he was touted as a tremendous talent and player to watch, I don’t think anybody was predicting the sort of rise he’s put together over the last 12 months. It can all be traced back to his exploits in Barcelona, where he beat a number of excellent clay courters to reach the final, including Diego Schwartzman, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Dominic Thiem and Pablo Carreno Busta before running into the near-unstoppable Rafael Nadal in the title match, going down 2-6 1-6.

Since then, Tsitsipas has gone from strength to strength - his rise started gradually with a semi-final in Estoril and a fourth round at Wimbledon, but suddenly roared to life with a brilliant run to the Canada Masters final, where he beat four top 10 players on the bounce, while the Greek would later become the first player from his country to win an ATP title when he won his maiden crown in Stockholm. All up, Tsitsipas won 46 matches on tour in 2018 and ended the season by capturing the Next Gen ATP Finals title in Milan.

However, if he hadn’t already, Tsitsipas reminded everyone he is a star and genuine top player of the present after making his first Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open in January, scoring a famous fourth round win over Roger Federer before, yet again, being blown off the court by Nadal in the final four. Tsitsipas went on to burst into the top 10 after a runner-up finish in Dubai, where Federer got his revenge, and while the big wins and results have dried up over the last couple of months (he hasn’t made a quarter-final since February), Tsitsipas won’t be too worried, especially after a straight sets win over Marton Fucsovics, who has been playing well this season, in his opening match in Barcelona. Can he make the last eight in the Spanish city once more and kick-start his Road to Roland Garros?


Jan-Lennard Struff will prove a tough opponent to overcome. The German had a poor 1-4 record at the Barcelona Open prior to this week, but Struff has played very well to make the third round, scoring two dominant victories over Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien (6-3 6-1) and former top 10 star David Goffin (7-6(6) 6-3).

Currently ranked at No. 51 in the world, which his seven spots off his career high of No. 44 that was achieved back in 2017), Struff has sort of hovered around the 50 to 80 mark over the last few seasons. The German is a big talent and hits a huge ball with a big weight of shot, but he lacks consistency from week to week (and from match to match each tournament), and as a result, he hasn’t made it into the top 40 or even into a tour-level final. Struff has made a handful of Masters 1000 third rounds and also made the third rounds at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2018, but as mentioned, he can struggle to produce his best tennis from week to week, and until he figures that out, he’s always going to be lingering around the outskirts of the top 50.

Struff is 11-8 in 2019 so far, which is fairly solid, making the semi-finals in Auckland and beating World No. 3 and compatriot Alexander Zverev on his way to the fourth round of Indian Wells, although with Zverev’s recent form, that isn’t as big a scalp as initially believed. Struff would go on to lose in the first round of Miami to Reilly Opelka and the second round of Monte-Carlo last week to Grigor Dimitrov.

Tsitsipas beat Struff in their only tour-level meeting earlier this season in Sofia, while he also prevailed at the 2017 Geneva Challenger, which was on clay, both in straight sets. Struff has the power to hit a lot of players off the court, but Tsitsipas looks like a bad match-up for him. The Greek has a lot of firepower himself, plus he moves better and defends well with his slice backhand, forcing Struff to play that one extra ball. Tsitsipas hasn’t been great over the last couple of months, but he should be too solid for Struff and move into the Barcelona quarter-finals on Thursday.


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Tsitsipas vs Struff ATP Barcelona live streaming, preview and tips - Tsitsipas targets return to Barcelona quarter-finals

Last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas seeks a return to the Barcelona Banc Sabadell Open quarter-finals when he meets the hard-hitting Jan-Lennard Struff on Thursday.

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