Aljaz Bedene beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rotterdam in February – can the fifth seed get revenge when they meet again…
Aljaz Bedene beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rotterdam in February – can the fifth seed get revenge when they meet again at Roland Garros?
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Aljaz Bedene | French Open R3 | 3/10/2020, 12pm BSTUnder 29.5 games 6/5 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Tsitsipas vs Bedene is live from Roland Garros on Saturday 3 October, 1pm local/12pm BST
After a dramatic first-round match which went the distance, world no. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas tightened things up for a dominant win over Pablo Cuevas to make the last 32 at the French Open – now he’s up against a player who beat him in their last encounter.
Aljaz Bedene beat Tsitsipas in straight sets in Rotterdam – can he do it again to make the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in Paris?
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Tsitsipas vs Bedene: Head-to-head
Aljaz Bedene won the only previous match these two have played when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-4 at the ABN AMRO WTT in Rotterdam in February. That match took place on indoor hard courts.
Tsitsipas vs Bedene: Preview
This is the second time in the past month or so that Stefanos Tsitsipas has come into a Grand Slam with very positive energy from the previous week. At the US Open, he came in on the back of a semifinal run in ‘Cincinnati’ – only to lose in the third round to Borna Coric despite holding six match points. This week, he came into Roland Garros having just made an excellent run to the final in Hamburg, beating Pablo Cuevas, Dusan Lajovic and Christian Garin before losing to Andrey Riblev. Can he avoid losing in the third round this time?
Tsitsipas has already had a close encounter of the five-set kind with defeat, having lost the first two sets against Jaume Munar before digging deep and pulling off the first comeback win of his career from such a position. Under the circumstances, I expected a long, tight match with Pablo Cuevas in the second round – they had played a close, high-quality one in Hamburg – but Tsitsipas rose to the occasion and dominated for a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
The Greek lost just four points on his first serve and kept the unforced errors below 30 in his disciplined victory over Cuevas – now can he bring the same form against Bedene?
This is the fourth time Bedene has reached the third round of a Grand Slam, and second time at the French Open after doing so in 2016 when he lost to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. The Slovenian, runner-up in Metz towards the end of last year, is not far off breaking back into the top 50 – his career-high ranking was world no. 43 in 2018 – and after reaching two ATP Tour quarterfinals in the first couple months of the year in Doha and Rotterdam, had a good ‘Cincinnati’ Masters where he reached the last 16 as a qualifier after wins over Christian Garin and Taylor Fritz.
Bedene’s win over Tsitsipas in Rotterdam was the second top-10 win of his career – the first came in Rome over Kevin Anderson via retirement – and he’s been very lucky with his opponents so far in Paris, defeating Arthur Rinderknech and Nikola Milojevic. Tsitsipas’s performance in that Rotterdam match was edgy and poor – he had the lead in the first set as well as multiple break points, but did not capitalise on his opportunities. It should not happen again: Even if Bedene should get into a lead, he doesn’t have the point-ending shots to prevent Tsitsipas getting back into the match. Assuming Tsitsipas can avoid a repeat of whatever demons assailed him during that US Open defeat to Coric, the Greek should reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the fourth time.