Stefanos Tsitsipas had to swap out a faulty shoe on the way to a comeback win over Jan-Lennard Struff on Wednesday, reaching the second round of the ATP event in Vienna.
The third seed, a Roland Garros semi-finalist, prevailed 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 over his German opponent in just under two hours, out-aceing Struff 12 to 10.
The shoe difficulty came early in the final set as the Greek who was playing for the first time since Paris. But there were no more dramas as the seed earned victory.
“I’m happy that I was relaxed and in that kind of state of mind and mood. I think it helped overall my performance today,” Tsitsipas said.
“For sure there are a lot of benefits you can take when you’re playing relaxed and when you’re not panicked.”
Tsitsipas next plays one-time ATP No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov for a quarter-final spot at the Stadthalle in front of a maximum 1,000 fans due to COVID restrictions.
The Greek made a successful debut at the event: “I wouldn’t say there were many rallies.
“It was a demonstration of serves, I managed to overcome the difficulties that were presented in his service games.”
Another Top 10 contender, Daniil Medvedev, defeated Taiwan’s qualifying lucky Loser Jason Jung 6-3, 6-1, taking just 66 minutes.
The fourth seed began improving a dismal recent record after losing four of five previous matches.
The Russian credited wholesome hotel food for keeping him sweet on his Vienna debut.
“The hotel is good, the food is amazing, maybe the best of the year. These small things make tennis players happy all the time,”
Last weekend’s Cologne semi-finalist Jannik Sinner defeated Norwegian Casper Ruud 7-6(2), 6-3, with the teenaged Italian eaching the second round in one and three-quarter hours.