Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Nick Kyrgios of Australia scored clinical wins against their respective opponents on Thursday to set up a blockbuster clash in the men’s singles third round at the Wimbledon.
Tsitsipas came up with a dominant performance to cruise past Australia’s Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 while Kyrgios was merciless and clinical in his 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 win against No. 26 seed Filip Krajinovic on No. 2 Court on Thursday.
In other action, Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp rallied past Finn Emil Ruusuvuori 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 25 minutes to reach the third round for the first time. The 21st seed will next meet Richard Gasquet following the Frenchman’s 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over American Mackenzie McDonald.
Under the roof on Court 1, Tsitsipas quickly gained control, demonstrating great footwork to dictate on his forehand. The Greek was strong off that wing throughout, while he showcased great touch at times up at the net to outmanoeuvre Thompson. Following a commanding first two sets, Tsitsipas remained patient in the third set, gaining the decisive break in the 12th game to seal the victory.
Tsitsipas’ best performance at Wimbledon came in 2018 when he reached the fourth round. The 23-year-old, who lost to Frances Tiafoe in the first round in 2021, is now 5-4 at SW19.
World No. 76 Thompson was aiming to advance to the third round for the second time, having reached that stage 12 months ago. Earlier this month, he captured the ATP Challenger Tour title in Surbiton, while he reached the championship match at Nottingham.
But on Thursday. Tsitsipas played like a zen master and did not allow his opponent many chances.
Kyrgios was unflinching and full of concentration as the 27-year-old sounded his most comprehensive reminder yet just how seriously he should be considered in title considerations this fortnight.
While always a danger on the grass, this year Kyrgios served notice when he recorded back-to-back semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle leading in.
Krajinovic though had also enjoyed a deep run when he notched his first grass-court final last week at Queen’s Club, defeating the likes of former Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic before falling to last year’s finalist Matteo Berrettini.
Kyrgios had beaten the Serbian three times before and scarcely put a foot wrong against him in their second meeting on grass. He was completely untouchable on serve and did not surrender a solitary point on it in the opening set.
Kyrgios, who came through a topsy-turvy opening five-set victory against Paul Jubb, a wild card ranked No.219 in his opening match, looked a totally different player on Thursday.
“Obviously nerves, I think just getting over the line in that first round was massive,” Kyrgios was quoted as saying in a report on the official website. “I’ve been playing some really good tennis over the last month so I was really surprised the way I played the other day.
“It wasn’t great but there was a lot of positives – that I didn’t play anywhere near my best and got through it,” he said.
“Today, obviously I was kind of in my zone, just great body language, just played well. You know, I just wanted to remind everyone that I’m pretty good,” he added.
(Inputs from IANS)