Stefanos Tsitsipas will be looking to set up a blockbuster semi-final showdown with Roger Federer when he takes on Stockholm runner-up Filip Krajinovic in the Swiss Indoors quarter-finals in Basel on Friday night.
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Into the Swiss Indoors quarter-finals for the second straight year, can Stefanos Tsitsipas overcome the in-form Filip Krajinovic and advance into a Basel semi-final clash with Roger Federer?
Tsitsipas lost in the Basel quarter-finals last year to his nemesis Daniil Medvedev, but he returns as a top 10 player this week, defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets in the opening round before recovering from a set down to beat Ricardas Berankis on Thursday to reach the last eight. The Greek bounced back strongly after dropping the opening set in a tiebreak and was able to maintain the momentum he generated from the second set all the way to the finish line, registering a 6-7(4) 6-2 6-4 victory in two hours and one minute.
“I’ve been experimenting the past couple of days with a few things in my game, so I knew there might be some downs during the match. I did stay calm, because I knew I was playing my game, but I was trying a few things that I haven’t tried in the past,” Tsitsipas said. “That paid off at the end. I was risking a bit more, I was going for more. I was making more mistakes than usual, but I think going for a bit more and trying to show him that, ‘I’m here, I’m going to come to the net, I’m going to be more aggressive’, it was crucial.”
After a superb breakout season in 2018 where he won his maiden ATP title in Stockholm, captured the Next Gen title in Milan and finished runner-up at the Canada Masters, Tsitsipas has taken his game to another level in 2019 and established himself as a top 10 player, beating Roger Federer to make his first Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open, winning two more ATP titles in Marseille and Estoril, finishing runner-up in Dubai, Madrid and Beijing and advancing to the semi-finals in Rome and Shanghai.
However, that’s not to say there hasn’t been rocky stages for Tsitsipas, with the 21-year-old suffering a flat period over the American summer when he lost five of his next six matches after making the Citi Open semi-finals. Tsitsipas has returned to form since then though, reaching that aforementioned final in Beijing and semi-final in Shanghai to come into Basel at No. 7 in the world. Can the Greek keep his momentum going and make a third straight semi-final?
Filip Krajinovic (PA Images)
Filip Krajinovic stands in his way in the quarter-finals. Receiving a special entry into the draw courtesy of reaching the Stockholm Open final last week, Krajinovic has continued his superb form in Basel, advancing into the quarter-finals without dropping a set with victories over compatriot Laslo Djere (6-1 6-4) and fifth seed Fabio Fognini (6-2 6-4).
Best known for his stunning run to the Paris Masters final in 2017 which catapulted him into the top 30 for the first time, injuries – as they did before that tournament – played a part in Krajinovic dropping back down the rankings in 2018, but he’s working his way back, and after being involved in an unsavoury split with former coach Thomas Johansson earlier this season, the Serbian has seemingly been galvanised to prove the Swede wrong. Injuries have once again struck Krajinovic down at various stages in 2019, but he’s a very solid 30-16 for the season so far, reaching the third round of the Australian Open, the fourth round at Indian Wells (beating Daniil Medvedev), the third round in Miami, winning the Mouratoglou Open Challenger, finishing runner-up at the ATP Hungarian Open and Stockholm Open, capturing the Heilbronn Challenger, making the third round at Roland Garros and advancing to quarter-finals in Montpellier, Metz and Hamburg, coming into Basel at No. 46 in the world, which probably doesn’t do justice to his level of play this season.
Tsitsipas and Krajinovic have played once before, with the Greek prevailing in a very tight four-setter at the French Open this season. With Krajinovic in the form he’s in, I think the Serbian is a real chance of pulling off the upset, especially if Tsitsipas starts slowly like he did against Berankis. It’s a real 50-50 match-up this one and it’s worth backing Krajinovic as the underdog if he maintains his current level.
Tsitsipas vs Krajinovic ATP Basel live streaming, preview and tips – Tsitsipas comes up against Stockholm runner-up Krajinovic in quarter-finals
Stefanos Tsitsipas will be looking to set up a blockbuster semi-final showdown with Roger Federer when he takes on Stockholm…
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