Stefanos Tsitsipas Indian Wells 2021

‘It makes a massive difference’ – Stefanos Tsitsipas unhappy with flawed display despite win

Stefanos Tsitsipas looked physically unbothered by his recent elbow injury as he beat Mikael Ymer to reach the second round of the Australian Open. 

However, the Greek was not happy with his discipline getting balls into court, making a total of 38 unforced errors across just three sets.

Prior to the the conclusion of last season, an elbow injury forced the world number four to withdraw from both the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals.

His Paris withdrawal was the first time in his career that he failed to complete a match, going 281 matches without retiring.

The injury caused Tsitsipas considerable grief, so much so that he considered undergoing surgery.

Fortunately surgery was not required and Tsitsipas is able to compete at the Australian Open.

He defeated Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in straight sets 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, although this scoreline arguably flatters the Greek.

The second set was particularly hard-fought and evenly contested with Ymer and Tsitsipas going toe-to-toe. The Greek played aggressively, contesting a total of 48 net points.

Last season, Ymer beat world number nine Hubert Hurkacz and Spanish prospect Carlos Alcaraz to show glimpses of his best.

In his post-match press conference, Tsitsipas said: “[I will try to] decrease the unforced errors, I think I had a few more than I usually have.

“When you’re a professional tennis player, these small things can make a massive difference.”

The 2021 Roland Garros finalist was also full of praise for Ymer, a player he has been competing with since they were eight years old.

Tsitsipas said: “Mikael is someone that I’ve been competing with for the past 15 years.

“We are the same age, so it’s special to be facing each other on this court.

“We started from eight years old playing together and now we are playing on Rod Laver [Arena].

“He gave me a hard time, really going after every single ball and staying in the match for as long as he could.”

Sebastian Baez will be Tsitsipas’ next opponent after he defeated Spanish veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a five-set thriller that lasted three and a half hours.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.