Day 1. Round 1. Stefanos Tsitsipas

Andy Taylor. Host. Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018. Day 1. Round 1. Stefanos Tsitsipas

Host. Andy Taylor. Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018
[Q] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) def Florian Mayer (GER) 46 75 64

Huge win for 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas and his Dad/coach Apostolos. The former Junior World #1 played his third consecutive day of determined tennis, after a New Year’s weekend that saw him win qualifiers over Qatari Mubarak Shannan Zayid and Sweden’s Elias Ymer. Sunday’s match was a tight-one. Stefanos earned the win in two tie-break sets, setting up his first clash with 2014 Doha Semifinalist Florian Mayer.

Mayer upset Andy Murray in his Doha debut 4-years-ago. By all appearances, he had a decent 1st-Round Draw, scoring a qualifier who’d already played two days of tennis. With a 6-4 victory in the first set, it looked like all was going according to plan. Then set-2 happened.

Stefanos refused to Lose

During the second and third, break points started piling up. Stefanos kept the pressure on, converting 4 of 11 by the end of the match. He rifled 10 aces in all, and avoided double faults entirely. Tsitsipas was efficient and deliberate, played to his strengths, and after leveling the match with a 7-5 win in set-2, crushed the ball with even more confidence in the decider.

Up Next: 2013 Champion Richard Gasquet or (Alt) Victor Estrella Burgos

It won’t get any easier for last year’s leading ATP Qualifier (8 events in 2017). At least he’ll finally receive a day of rest. On Wednesday, he faces either 2013 Doha Champion Richard Gasquet or Novak Djokovic’s replacement in the draw, Victor Estrella Burgos. It will be Stefanos’ first time facing either opponent.

Stefanos Tsitsipas. Making Dad Proud

ON SUNDAY, THIS 19-YEAR-OLD QUALIFIER DEFEATED SWEDEN’S ELIAS YMER IN 2 TIE-BREAK SETS TO REACH THE MAIN DRAW IN HIS DOHA DEBUT. A FOMER JUNIOR WORLD #1, HE HAD A BREAKTHROUGH SEASON LAST YEAR, LEADING THE ATP WORLD TOUR BY QUALIFYING FOR A REMARKABLE EIGHT TOUR-LEVEL EVENTS, INCLUDING ANTWERP – WHERE HE EARNED HIS FIRST CAREER TOP-10 WIN, DEFEATING DAVID GOFFIN TO REACH THE SEMIFINALS. A 4-TIME FINALIST ON THE ATP CHALLENGER TOUR, HE WON HIS FIRST CHALLENGER TITLE LAST YEAR IN GENEVA, MADE HIS GRAND SLAM MAIN DRAW DEBUTS AT BOTH ROLAND GARRIS AND WIMBLEDON, AND QUALIFIED FOR THE ATP NEXT GEN FINALS AS AN ALTERNATE. HE STARTED 2017 RANKED OUSIDE THE TOP-200, AND BY NOVEMBER, CLIMBED TO A CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF #87 IN THE WORLD. COMPETING IN HIS FIRST QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, FROM GREECE, PLEASE WELCOME – STEFANOS TSITSIPAS

Florian Mayer. Since 2014, Doha hasn’t been kind

IN HIS DOHA DEBUT FOUR-YEARS-AGO, THIS 34-YEAR-OLD UPSET WORLD #4 ANDY MURRAY EN-ROUTE TO THE SEMIFINALS. HE OWNS 12 CAREER WINS OVER TOP-10 PLAYERS, INCLUDING A VICTORY OVER WORLD #2 RAFAEL NADAL AT THE 2011 SHANGHAI MASTERS; AND A WIN OVER WORLD #7 DOMINIC THIEM BEFORE EARNING HIS SECOND CAREEER TOUR-LEVEL TITLE AT THE 2016 GERRY WEBER (GARY VEEBUR) OPEN. A 7-TIME FINALIST ON THE ATP WORLD TOUR, HE’S BEEN RANKED AS HIGH AS #18 IN THE WORLD, OWNS 13 ADDITIONAL ATP CHALLENGER TOUR TITLES; AND IN SEPTEMBER, CONTESTED HIS 22ND CAREER CHALLENGER FINAL. A 2-TIME WIMBLEDON QUARTERFINALIST, HE’S COMPETING HERE IN DOHA FOR THE THIRD TIME. FROM GERMANY, PLEASE WELCOME 2014 QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN SEMIFINALIST – FLORIAN MAYER