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Tsitsipas vs Struff ATP Cincinnati Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsitsipas faces dangerous Struff in Cincinnati opener

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 14 Aug 2019
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jan-Lennard Struff is live from Cincinnati on Wednesday, 14 August from 12:30pm local time/ 5:30pm BST
  • Tsitsipas and Struff have split their two previous tour-level meetings
Stefanos Tsitsipas. (PA Sport)

Stefanos Tsitsipas begins his campaign at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Wednesday when he squares off against hard-hitting German, Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.

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Tsitsipas is seeking his first ever win in Cincinnati, having suffered a first-round defeat to David Goffin in his tournament debut last season. That Cincinnati defeat was just a blip in what was a fantastic breakout 2018 for Tsitsipas, as the Greek young gun surged from outside the top 90 at the start of the year to secure a top-15 finish. He won his first career title in Stockholm, reached a Masters 1000 final in Toronto, and made another final at the ATP 500 final in Barcelona, while he closed out the year by winning the Next Gen ATP Finals.

Tsitsipas took it to another level at the start of 2019, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open in a sensational run that included a stunning fourth-round victory over Roger Federer, and he has continued that upward trajectory for most of the year. The 21-year-old has won titles in Marseille and Estoril, while he was runner-up at the Masters 1000 meet in Madrid (lost to Novak Djokovic), and the ATP 500 tournament in Dubai (lost to Federer). That Dubai result at the start of March took him into the top-ten for the first time, and while he has gone as high as No. 5 since then, he enters Cincinnati as the No. 7 player in the world.

After a very good first half of the season, Tsitsipas has been a tad inconsistent in the last couple of months, as he has suffered opening round defeats in three of his last five tournaments. He was beaten by Nicolas Jarry in the pre-Wimbledon warm-up tournament in s-Hertogenbosch, suffered a shock loss to Thomas Fabiano at Wimbledon, and fell to Hubert Hurkacz in last week's Rogers Cup opener in Montreal. He did reach the semi-finals in Washington just before Montreal, and he'll be looking to reproduce a similar deep run on his return to the United States this week in Cincinnati. 

Tsitsipas' draw isn't the most favourable, as he could face Daniil Medvedev in the third round, should he get past Struff, while Roger Federer is a possible quarter final opponent. Before all of that, he will have to play very well to take down Struff on Wednesday.

Struff has not had the best results in recent weeks as he is yet to win consecutive matches since Wimbledon, but this has been the finest year of his career, with the big-hitting German finally finding some consistency to go with his power.

Struff has already registered 27 wins this season (27-19), matching his career-best total from the 2017 campaign. He's definitely going to smash that record before the end of the year. Amongst his best results in 2019 are semi-finals in Auckland and Stuttgart and a quarter final in Barcelona, where he defeated Tsitsipas and David Goffin before falling 7-5 7-5 to Rafael Nadal in a keenly contested last eight tie.

Tsitsipas also reached the fourth round at Indian Wells, while he also made the Round of 16 at Roland Garros, taking out Denis Shapovalov, Radu Albot and Borna Coric to reach the second week of a major for the first time. He also went as far as the third round at Wimbledon and the Rome Masters.

Struff broke into the top 40 for the first time in his career after Roland Garros, and reached a career-high ranking No. 33 at the end of June. The German, who is currently 36th in the world, has just been a bit off form lately, winning two matches in his last three tournaments, but he opened his Cincinnati account with a fine 7-5 7-6 victory over Ivo Karlovic, withstanding 16 aces from the Croatian, and firing 12 of his own in the one hour 30-minutes contest. He won over 70% of points on his first serve, and didn't face a break point throughout the match as he secured his first ever win in his first ever match in Cincinnati. You would expect some of those statistics to change when he plays Tsitsipas on Wednesday.

It's the third tour-level meeting between Tsitsipas and Struff, with the pair splitting the previous two, both of which were played earlier this year. Tsitsipas was a 7-6 6-4 victor in Sofia in February, while Struff responded with a 6-4 3-6 6-2 victory in Barcelona. (Tsitsipas also defeated Struff in a Challenger meeting in Genoa in 2017).

Struff possesses five top-ten wins in his career, three of which have come in 2019. He now feels a lot more confident and comfortable against these top guys, and represents a huge danger to Tsitsipas' Cincinnati ambitions.

The Greek will have to be very close to his best if he is to avoid a fourth opening round defeat in six tournaments.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jan-Lennard Struff is live from Cincinnati on Wednesday, 14 August from 12:30pm local time/ 5:30pm BST

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Tsitsipas vs Struff ATP Cincinnati Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsitsipas faces dangerous Struff in Cincinnati opener

Stefanos Tsitsipas faces a tough start to his Cincinnati campaign as he takes on Jan-Lennard Struff on Wednesday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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