The Greek is also hoping to bring his momentum from a strong Asian swing into the European indoor season and make a strong finish to 2019. After a very good first five months of the season, which included a run to the Australian Open semifinals and the Dubai 500 final, titles in Marseille and Estoril and a runner-up finish at the Madrid Masters, Tsitsipas suffered an early defeat at Wimbledon to Thomas Fabbiano and would go 0-3 at the three biggest events of the American hard-court swing. His Asian swing also didn’t start off auspiciously, with a post-Laver Cup retirement in Zhuhai, but he went on to reach the final of the China Open in Beijing and the semifinals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters, thereby securing a place at the Nitto ATP Finals and reviving his season.
Tsitsipas started his Basel campaign with a 6-3, 7-6(6) victory over Spanish veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas, champion in Gstaad earlier this season, only losing four points behind his first serve throughout the match, although his first-serve percentage did drop below 50% in the hard-fought second set, which lasted over an hour before Tsitsipas was able to edge over the finishing line.
‘I knew it was going to be a difficult battle out there. He fought hard and gave me a hard time out there, but I’m satisfied and happy that this match didn’t go longer or to three sets,’ Tsitsipas said. ‘The players that make it into [ATP 500] tournaments are all playing well, so I expect every match to be difficult. You have to fight for everything.
‘[…] I came into the match feeling very relaxed. I went out there to enjoy my game and experiment with a few different things.’
Tsitsipas could meet fifth seed Fabio Fognini in the quarterfinals and nine-time Basel champion Roger Federer in the semifinals, so his path through the draw is by no means an easy one, but before he can worry about facing those top players, he has to negotiate his way past Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis on Thursday.
Berankis was tipped for much success as a younger man, but with injury troubles and lack of consistency, things never really came together and he has never been ranked higher than world no. 50 (a ranking he achieved in May 2016 after winning back-to-back Challenger titles).
The Lithuanian, now 29, made his second ATP Tour career final in Moscow in October 2017, losing here to Damir Dzumhur, and continues to divide his time between the ATP Tour and the Challenger Tour, at which level he is extremely successful, having won 13 Challenger titles and reached a further nine finals.
A quartet of Challenger titles have come Berankis’s way in 2019 in Rennes, Drummondville, Busan and Vancouver, helping him climb back into the top 100 once again after his latest injury-related plummet. Having started the year at world no. 116, Berankis is now up to world no. 70 and has had some wins over good players at ATP Tour level as well this year, most notably beating world no. 22 David Goffin in Doha in January, world no. 15 Daniil Medvedev in Dubai in February and world no. 27 Denis Shapovalov in the first round of Wimbledon in July.
Berankis came into Vienna on a four-match losing streak but snapped it with a win over world no. 427 Hugo Nys before reaching the main draw when Gregoire Barrere gave him a walkover in the final round of qualifying. Berankis promptly put that gift to good use as he beat Pablo Andujar 6-1, 6-1 to reach the second round in Vienna, where he hopes to make his second ATP Tour quarterfinal of the season.
Tsitsipas and Berankis have met once before, on the indoor hard courts of Metz last September, and it was the Lithuanian who triumphed, 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-3. Berankis really is a good player who has been very unlucky with injuries, and possesses a compact solid game which can be very effective on these types of courts, but Tsitsipas isn’t really the kind of player Berankis particularly excels at facing. The Greek player has the tools to break up rhythm and play the match on his own terms and if he is executing – and in particular serving – well, he should be able to avenge his Metz defeat to Berankis and make the quarterfinals in Basel.
Tsitsipas vs Berankis Swiss Indoors Basel tennis is live from Basel on Thursday at
Tsitsipas vs Berankis tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Tsitsipas out to avenge previous defeat to Berankis in Basel
Stefanos Tsitsipas hopes to draw on recent good form to reach the Swiss Indoors Basel quarterfinals with a win over…
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.